Sergino Gianni Dest is one of the most sought-after American soccer players right now. His rise to fame has been meteoric, and it’s easy to see why; his skill on the field is undeniable. His speed, agility, strength, and control are matched by very few in the United States.
In addition to his impressive abilities, Dest also stands out for his leadership both on and off the field. He leads by example with calmness and grace that commands respect from team-mates and opponents alike.
Dest began his career at the Almere City F.C. academy. In 2012 the opportunity arose to join a top European club, so he moved to Ajax, where he played mostly as a forward.
On October 15, 2018, he made his debut with Jong Ajax. Ajax wanted the player to have a long-term relationship with the club, and on September 13, 2019, he extended his contract until 2022.
The player caught the attention of Barcelona, and in October 2020, the Catalan club completed his signing for five seasons in exchange for €21m euros plus €5m in bonuses.
On November 24, he scored his first goal for the team, and the first by an American in the club’s history, in a UEFA Champions League match against Dinamo Kyiv. After two years at Barca – in which he played 72 games – he was loaned to Milan with an option to buy.
A rising star in the Qatar
Born in the Netherlands to a Surinamese-American father and a Dutch mother, Dest has chosen to represent the United States internationally. He was called up for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 and for the U-20 in 2019, where he played four games.
For the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the young player was called up and earned a fixed place as a starter since he participated in all the games that the team played in the tournament.
However, the elimination of the team left the player devastated. “We gave our all for our country, but unfortunately, we came up short on the night. I am very proud of the team and how we fought throughout the tournament. There is so much talent in the group, and most of us are still young with plenty of time to develop,” the 22-year-old tweeted.
Team USA coach Gregg Berhalter mentioned that it was easy to convince the young Dest to participate in the World Cup project.
“I talked to him about the role he could have, about the group’s plan for these eight years. I introduced him to the players; I showed him the environment. He saw how well this group receives people, that it makes you want to make friends with them, and that’s what made him decide.”
Milan impressed but future uncertain
After his performance at the World Cup and in Italy after finding his feet, Pioli is beginning to give Dest more and more playing time. The defender hadn’t had much time on the pitch in the first part of the Serie A season but he has featured in each game in 2023 thus far.
Various sources in Italy have suggested that Milan would like to explore a potential permanent deal with Barca but would not be willing to pay €20m as the pre-agreed purchase option dictates.
Barcelona could be more than willing to sell the player given the lack of playing time he got there as his sale would raise much-needed funds.
Pennsylvania Sports betting positions Milan as the club Dest will stick with for the long haul.
However, the shadow of Barca’s biggest rival looms over Dest, as Real Madrid apparently wants to add an American player to their ranks to expand the club’s brand in the USA.
According to sources close to the Merengue club, the hope of finding the great soccer talent from the United States is not lost, and now more than ever, they want to add a player from that country because, in four years, they will host the World Cup.