The Dutch midfielder joined Barca from Ajax last summer but has so far struggled to replicate his 2018-19 form at Camp Nou, despite making 37 appearances across all competitions for the Spanish champions.
De Jong featured mainly as a holding midfielder during his time at Ajax but, with Sergio Busquets occupying that position at Barcelona, Koeman admitted that the 22-year-old had been forced out of his favoured role.
"It's important that he's playing games, even if they might not be in his preferred position," Koeman told Marca.
"With the national team, he players deeper but we play with two holding midfielders and Barcelona only play with one and two central midfielders, or sometimes with four central midfielders.
"The position he is playing now is different to the national team and Ajax. He's learning to play further forward like this, it's not all bad, but it's not his best position. For me, I think he performs better playing deeper."
De Jong has scored only two goals and created four more in his 37 games for Barca. body check tags ::