Ten Hag argues that De Jong's qualities are best exploited by having him orchestrate things from deep.
"He's not a goalscorer," Ten Hag explained on the Dutch TV show 'Rondo' on Ziggo Sport.
"He's the player who supplies... who supplies the teammates who give the assists or who score goals from their position."
Ten Hag recalled the importance of the midfielder at Ajax and explained that he had to be reprimanded once for going too far up the pitch.
"Once I got him out of there," he said in relation to substituting De Jong.
"I asked him: are you a No.10? Then when do you score goals?"