Thursday, March 30, 2023

Chelsea Urged To Recruit This Juventus Defender: What Will He Bring To Stamford Bridge?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Give Me Sport, Dean Jones urged Chelsea to recruit Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt this summer. Jones said,

“I mean, De Ligt is the dream signing. This is the guy that Tuchel would take over anybody else, so it’s a fantastic situation to be in whereby he might be available.

“I’m not even sure they’re wholly convinced yet, but the fact that Juve seem reasonably open to it is promising.”

De Ligt’s Decent Run Of Form In Italian Football

The 22-year-old was a prominent feature at the centre of Juve’s defence after he put in a series of solid performances in the previous campaign. De Ligt made 42 appearances for the Italian side last season, netting three goals and providing one assist across all fronts.

The Netherlands international was a rock at the back based on his average of 1.1 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and 3.1 clearances per 90 minutes in Serie A. He was even an accurate distributor of the ball as he completed 88.9% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Chelsea
Juventus’ Dutch defender Matthijs De Ligt celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Cagliari and Juventus at the Unipol Domus stadium in Cagliari on April 9, 2022. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP) (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

What Will De Ligt Bring To Chelsea?

De Ligt is usually quick to spot the danger and can time his tackles to earn the ball back for his team on the defensive end of the field. He doesn’t mind putting his foot through the ball when required and is proficient at playing his way out from the back.

The 38-time Netherlands international can use his powerful 1.89m frame to dominate the opposition attackers in the air and even make a few important blocks inside his half.

At 22, de Ligt has the potential to become one of the best centre-backs of his generation. Thus, he will be a massive signing for Chelsea if Thomas Tuchel can find a way to get him on board in this off-season.

We can expect de Ligt to add more bite and steel to the Blues‘ defensive department at Stamford Bridge. He could even serve as an ideal replacement for Antonio Rudiger, who joined Real Madrid as a free agent recently, at the West London club.

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