What’s next for Sergino Dest? USMNT star’s serious injury at PSV, Barcelona

As yet another summer draws near, Sergino Dest’s future is in limbo following an ACL injury that could sideline him for nine months. Not only will he miss Copa America for the United States men’s national team this summer, creating concerns for manager Gregg Berhalter, but his next club is also in question after manager Peter Bosz confirmed that PSV Eindhoven won’t pick up the buy option to make Dest’s loan move from Barcelona permanent.

While this doesn’t mean that Dest won’t return to the Dutch club, it does create quite a bit of uncertainty ahead of a time that was supposed to bring stability for the young right back after what became a lost 2022-23 season bouncing between Barcelona and AC Milan. Dest was in some of the best form of his career helping PSV to the Dutch title, making 37 appearances in all competitions, registering two goals and seven assists. Playing for an attack-minded team that emphasizes pushing possession brought the best out of the 23-year-old and now his reward for his good work could be a return to Barcelona to see out the last season of his contract.

It’d be a shame if that ends up being the outcome but depending on what Barcelona ask of teams interested in Dest, it could be yet another lost season.

Here’s what to know:

A return to PSV

Declining a buy option for a player who is injured can be a common practice as it allows the team to look to negotiate better terms. When Dest has played in the majority of PSV’s games, this could be an option but it depends on what Barcelona want to get out of the deal. Considering that Barcelona will want to raise finances for their own summer business as they deal with their own financial struggles, there is a chance that they could hold out hope that more suiters could come in for Dest, but considering the situation of Zack Steffenwho picked up a knee injury ahead of planning to depart Manchester City last summer, there is always a chance that waiting can hurt both the player and the club.

When speaking about Dest, Bosz was highly complementary about him which only reinforces the idea that PSV would prefer to get a deal done.

“I am talking for myself as a coach and as a staff, “Bosz said. “I would very much like to have him there. It clicked in the way we played. It clicked as a person. It clicked with the player group.

“He also just played well actually all season. Then you want to keep him. The same goes for the club, actually. I think they would also like to keep him there.”

These comments were made after Dest’s injury which makes it easier to believe but the ball isn’t in PSV’s court completely.

Running down his contract with Barcelona

While this would be the worst option for Dest due to making next season a lost season for him, it’s also one that gives him the most flexibility. With a contract that is up in the summer of 2025 with Barcelona, Dest would be able to negotiate with teams as of January to join on a free transfer. Since he’ll be out injured until then, it does mean that Dest can use Barcelona’s facilities to focus on recovery but if he’s still on the outskirts of the squad under Xavi Hernandez, it would mean that Dest likely wouldn’t play a game next season.

Having two of his last three seasons become lost seasons during a time critical for his development would be a shame, but for this to happen a club would need to have issues agreeing to terms with both Dest and Barcelona this summer. The American has shown that he’s talented enough for a team to take a risk on him which could avoid this scenario playing out.

Ajax looming

Coming off one of their worst seasons in recent history, the winds of change are blowing through Amsterdam as Ajax needs to not only find a new manager but also turn over a good portion of the squad. This is a proud team that should be competing for Champions League places and not missing out on European play completely. Being where Dest broke onto the scene, Ajax could be a good homecoming destination for him but in some ways, it feels like admitting failure.

Dest challenged himself by leaving Ajax for Barcelona and while there have been bumps in the road, he has emerged from that a better player now winning the league with PSV. If he returns to Ajax without European soccer on the horizon to be part of a rebuild, that’s not really an improvement on his current situation with PSV. If Dest stays in the Eredivisie, it makes the most sense for him to stay on board with PSV and look to run back the title while staying a dominant force in the Netherlands.

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