According to Sky Sports, Barcelona are on the verge of sealing a move for Ajax captain and centre-back Matthijs de Ligt. The youngster is rated in the £65million-bracket after emerging as one of the brightest youngsters in the European game in recent seasons.
Barcelona have already sealed the signature of De Ligt’s Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong. It seems De Ligt could be following De Jong to Catalonia in the near future.
One of the top youngsters in the European game
Matthijs de Ligt is one of the top young players in the European game. This season’s campaign has highlighted De Ligt’s attributes. With commanding centre-backs in short supply, De Ligt was always going to attract attention.
Not only is he regarded as a top youngster, but he is also already a top player, with potential for so much improvement in the future. He is the sort of player that the majority of top clubs would love in their team.
It is not only his talent that is impressive for one so young. His leadership for a player of just 19-years of age has been incredible this season. De Ligt led Ajax to their first Eredivisie title in five years, as well as playing a key role in his team making the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Barcelona not convincing in defence
It is hard to argue with Barcelona’s attacking options. A team with the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez is always going to be an attacking threat. However, at the other end of the pitch, the Catalan giants can struggle defensively when playing against decent teams.
The current defence is fine for playing the majority of teams in La Liga. However, some of their defensive displays in the Champions League in recent seasons have shown that they are not convincing at the back.
Gerard Pique has been an excellent servant to the reigning La Liga champions. However, arguably his best form was when playing alongside warrior and Barcelona legend Carles Puyol. At 32 years of age, the former Manchester United is reaching the latter stages of his career too.
French centre-back Samuel Umtiti looked to have the full package when he arrived from Lyon. For some reason, he has struggled to convince at the heart of the Blaugrana defence. The club from Catalonia are even reportedly open to selling Umtiti this summer.
Last summer Barcelona spent big bringing in Clement Lenglet from Sevilla. The French youngster has made a decent start to life in Catalonia. It seems like a De Ligt/Lenglet partnership could be the way forward for the reigning La Liga champions in future campaigns.
Barcelona the favourites to sign De Ligt
Despite interest from Premier League duo Liverpool and Manchester United, Barcelona are the red-hot favourites to sign De Ligt this summer.
Reportedly, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has decided he does not need another centre-back this summer. In their current situation, Manchester United are unable to mount a realistic challenge to Barcelona to sign the talented young Dutch centre-back.
The Catalan giants retained their La Liga crown this season and will be looking to do the same next season. The Blaugrana are already the favourites to win the title next season at odds of 8/11 in season 2019/20.
However, Barcelona’s biggest aim for next season will be winning the Champions League. Both the Catalan giants and De Ligt suffered Champions League heartbreak in the semi-finals of Europe’s elite competition this season.
The pair will be hoping to make amends for that heartbreak next season if of course, he joins this summer. If Barcelona does manage to capture De Ligt’s signature, the Dutchman could be one of the key signings of the summer transfer window.
Will Matthijs de Ligt be plying his trade at Barcelona next season?
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