Manchester City have reportedly entered the race to sign Ajax wonderkid Matthijs De Ligt. The defender is only 18 years old but is highly rated in the Netherlands and all around Europe. He has made 34 appearances this season in addition to the 22 he made last year in his debut campaign.
It is astounding to think that a player who is only 18 has over 50 appearances for a top quality side like Ajax. He has also made his international debut for the Netherlands and is considered to be a real star for the future.
The player is technically gifted, easy on the ball and has a playing style that would be ideally suited for Manchester City. At City, Pep Guardiola has set up an incredible system in his two-year reign at the club.
They recently won the Premier League title with absolute dominance and smashed every possible record. They have produced a fine display of attacking master class that very few teams in Europe can compete with. Guardiola’s system of play allows a defender to create attacks from the back and needs them to be composed when in possession.
He also needs them to play high defensive lines and put pressure in packs without leaving their triangle of position. This means that the defender not only needs to be technically gifted but also be supremely confident and well drilled in defence to be a part of Guardiola’s defence.
City currently have Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte in defence. Kompany has been injury prone for the last few years and has only one year left on his current contract. With the veteran well above 30, he might not get a new contract.
“I know how hard it’s been for him physically but also mentally. But he’s a leader with an unbelievable personality to handle these challenges. The way he’s come back, the last two months of the season, he’s been arguably the best defender in the world.”, is what City’s chairman had to say about him.
As for the other choices, Otamendi has become a fine defender under Guardiola. However, the case of John Stones is turning out to be rather a gloom as the once-promising defender has had to settle for time on the bench and seems unlikely to fulfil his destiny under the Spanish coach.
This would make the signing of De Ligt an important addition to the City squad and they could really help the defender become a class act in the future.