Sergino Dest has been ranked the 10th best right-back in the world by FourFourTwo football magazine.
FFT describe the 20-year-old as "one of the best young right-backs in the world going forward, but with a lot to learn about the defensive aspects of elite football."
Top 10 right-backs in the world, as per FourFourTwo:
- 10. Sergino Dest (Barcelona)
- 1. Joao Cancelo (Man City)
The American joined Barcelona in a €21m move from Ajax in October 2020 and has gone on to become Ronald Koeman's first-choice option this season, making 39 appearances across all competitions so far.
'Is Dest the new Alves?': You asked, we answered
Following a string of assured performances on the right-wing of Barca's 3-5-2 system, a Barca fan raghhuveer on Reddit popped the question about Dest:
"Is Dest the new Alves? It may be too early to say this, but I am too excited for Dest, especially after yesterday's match!!"
Let's analyze Dest in comparison with Dani Alves to see if the American is remotely close to the Brazilian icon.
We can't run off to comparing Alves with his immaculate career with Sergino Dest at this point. That'll be preposterous and unfair to both players. Instead, let's have a look at Alves at the same age as Dest.
They started similarly. Dest broke into Barca's first team at the age of 19 and has already made 32 appearances for the Blaugrana following his €18 million transfer from Ajax last October.
Similarly, at the age of 19, Alves broke into Sevilla's first team in 2002, following his move from Brazilian side Bahia.
However, while Alves manage just 11 appearances for Sevilla in his first season at the club, Dest has already recorded 22 in La Liga alone.
Size and speed
Interestingly, Dest and Alves are exactly the same height - 5'8" or 1.72 metres.
Size aside, a trait that usually stands full-backs out is their speed. They need to shuttle up and down the flank and help out the attack and defence almost in equal measure.
Dest is surprisingly faster than Alves as per stats from UEFA. The former Ajax man can reach a top speed of 31.7 km/h, while Alves comes in at 29.25 km/h
Alves contributed 1 goal and no assists in his first 39 La Liga games, per Transfermarkt. Dest meanwhile has contributed 2 goals and an assist in his first 22 appearances in La Liga.
Fan reaction on Reddit
Jose_Ghaleb: "Dest is the new dest. can we please for the love of god stop labelling our players, thank you."
Youropinioniswrong12: "When Semedo signed for Barcelona, I remember a lot of Barca fans calling him the next Dani Alves after his above-average debut. Let's just all calm down and not put too much pressure on such a young and exciting prospect."
trick_or_treat_22: "I think he's the next big thing when it comes to RB if he keeps evolving he'll be the best RB of the next generation"
As you've already seen, both players are quite similar in many ways. However, Alves went on to establish himself as a legend of the game and even became the most decorated player in history. It shows how much work Dest has to do to even get close.
Albeit, Dest is Dest and will like to be remembered as Dest, not as another Alves. The American is playing really well at the moment, his greatness depends on his consistency, not the hype.
'That's a FIFA goal': Dest on scoring for USA for first time ever
"That's a FIFA goal. I told some of my teammates I'm going to score tonight and I did it," Sergino Dest has told the US Soccer's official website.
"Before the game, I was talking to Christian Pulisic. He said to me, 'if you're going to score, you have to do this [points at his wristwatch],' like to show that it's time for us, that we're coming right now, so I did it," the American wing-back added.