As reported by BBC, Barcelona recruit Frenkie de Jong is hopeful that the club will make a move for his former Ajax teammate Matthijs de Ligt this summer. De Jong was recently unveiled as a Barca player, and the young midfielder said, “I’d like to see him [De Ligt] here, but I cannot decide. He has to make that decision with his family. When I saw Barca wanted me to play here, the decision was very easy.”
De Ligt has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus throughout this summer. But, there are already fears that Barcelona may hijack the Italian champions’ deal for the Ajax sensation and virtually anything can happen as the youngster’s transfer saga comes to its final chapters. But, should the Catalans really go for it?
What can de Ligt bring to Barcelona?
De Ligt is undoubtedly one of the most talented footballers on the planet and is simultaneously considered as one of the best defenders in Europe. The Dutchman has been key to Ajax’s success in the past couple of years, especially in the 2018/19 campaign, where he helped the club secure their 34th Eredivisie title as well as guiding them to the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.
The 19-year-old is mainly known for his exquisite passing and ability to play out from the back. Like any other modern defender, de Ligt is capable of delivering accurate diagonal balls or long balls in behind the defence. He can also find midfielders and attackers with his laser passes in between the lines.
But, aside from his technical qualities, the youngster is a diligent defender. He can stick to his marker and rarely offers his opposition any space or time with the ball. His tall 1.89m frame also gives him a significant advantage when it comes to aerial duels while making him an indirect threat from set-pieces.
Should Barcelona make a move for de Ligt?
The signing of Clement Lenglet turned out to be a masterstroke from Ernesto Valverde last summer. But, the Catalans will now need to think deeply about Gerard Pique’s future at the club. The Spaniard is nearing the final phase of his career and cannot be considered as a long-term option in central defence.
De Ligt, in that regard, is arguably the best available replacement for Pique available in the market right now. Much like the Barcelona star, the Ajax sensation is capable of playing out from the back and is also a solid defender. And at the age of 19, he has time on his side and could thus be a smart long-term investment for the Spanish giants.
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