According to a recent report by Sport, Dutch expert and De Telegraaf’s head of sport, Valentijn Driessen has revealed that Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt will join Barcelona in the summer amidst recent interest from Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Juventus. In a recent interview with Sport, Driessen said, “It’s clear that De Ligt will leave Ajax for Barca.
“Ajax left it clear to Barcelona that they don’t have to pay extra for Matthijs, unlike for other clubs.”
This recent development will be a big blow for Jurgen Klopp and his chances of landing the player at the end of this campaign. De Ligt would have been an ideal fit for the Reds as he has shown in the recent past that he can perform well alongside Virgil Van Dijk in high-profile matches while on international duty with the Netherlands national side.
The Reds can benefit from acquiring another talented young defender so that they can establish a period of success at the red half of Merseyside. The Dutch centre-half has enjoyed a fantastic campaign at the Johan Cruijff ArenA after putting in a string of commanding displays at the back for Erik ten Hag’s team.
At 19, de Ligt has incredible potential and could be a world-class player if he can continue improving his game over the next few years. The Dutch talent is a talented defender who can read the game well and can make timely interceptions for his side. He can also contribute by scoring goals or providing some assists as evidenced by his numbers this season.
The Leiderdorp born starlet has featured in 43 matches for Ajax this term, scoring four goals while grabbing two assists across all competitions. More importantly, he has made an average of 1.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 3.8 clearances per match this season (Stats taken from Whoscored).
The Ajax wonderkid would have significantly bolstered Klopp’s defensive options at the Merseyside club. However, Liverpool still have Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren in their squad who can all play alongside Van Dijk at the centre of Klopp’s backline. Even then, missing out on de Ligt will be a bitter pill to swallow for the Reds, so they are better of concentrating on some of their other summer transfer targets.