Under the tutelage of Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona have had a smashing start to their La Liga season as they have collected 6 wins from their first 6 outings in La Liga, with their latest fixture ending in a 0-3 away win against Girona on Saturday. They are currently placed at the top of the league table and have seemingly appeared to be a very strong side. However, there is apparently a slight loophole in their side which needs to be amended soon.
Central defence is a key area of concern for Barca, as three of their centre-backs in the shapes of Thomas Vermaelen, Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano in the wrong side of 30. The 23-year-old central defender Samuel Umtiti has been quite resilient and commanding at the backline but considering the future requirements of the club, it is perceived that Valverde is vouching for a blossoming youngster who could adequately cater to the defensive requirements of the club.
As per one of the latest reports, the Spanish giants have been heavily linked with Ajax’s starlet Matthijs de Ligt, and it is believed that a move to Camp Nou could be on the cards for the defender.
De Ligt has been one of the promising youngsters to have emerged through the renowned youth setup of Ajax, who has paved his way to their senior side. He enjoyed a breakthrough season last term and has already accumulated 5 appearances in Eredivisie this season, in which he has registered 1.4 tackles, 2.2 interceptions, 4.8 clearances and 0.6 blocks per game on an average.
The 18-year-old is already an accomplished player on the ball and is an astute passer. He tackles really well, reads the offensive endeavours of the opposition in a shrewd manner and doesn’t refrain from getting into the right circumstances to save the blushes of his employers. de Ligt possesses the ability to win the ball back, is absolutely superb in the air and his daunting frame makes him an appealing commodity for any top quality side in the game.
Although the Dutch international is far from being a finished product, he has showcased his calibre and given the knack of Barcelona to hand the youngsters the necessary platform to thrive, de Ligt would be able to continue his development if he makes a move to Barcelona. Meanwhile, adding someone like this dazzling lad to the ranks would be a stupendous move by Valverde, as he has almost all the ingredients to thrive as a centre-back.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored