Why Matthijs de Ligt will join Barcelona

Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt is going to be one of the most sought after players during this summer’s transfer window.

The 19-year-old has been a regular in the Ajax starting lineup for the past two seasons now having broken into the team towards the end of the 2016-17 campaign which included starting the Europa League final defeat at the hands of Manchester United that season.

De Ligt has not only been impressive in the Dutch Eredivisie, where Ajax currently lead rivals PSV Eindhoven on goal difference with two games remaining, but he has made a name in the Champions League also.

The centre-back was part of Erik ten Hag’s side that were eliminated in the sixth minute of stoppage time at the hands of English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in a thrilling semi-final second leg last night. De Ligt had opened the scoring for the hosts, just as he did in the quarter-final second leg at Juventus.

Standing at 6’2″, he has proven to be a good threat from attacking set pieces as well as being a calm presence in defence. Barcelona are just one of the names linked with a move for the teenager – as well as Premier League giants Manchester United and Liverpool, as well as Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite already having Gerard Piqué, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti, the Catalan club appear keen to bring the 15-time Dutch international to Camp Nou this summer.

Should Barcelona indeed want to make a deal for the youngster this summer then you can be sure the 2018-19 La Liga champions will be the favourites to sign the youngster. As per Marca‘s article earlier this week, everything points to Matthijs de Ligt signing for Ernesto Valverde’s side.

Ajax and Barcelona have a great connection, united by Johan Cruyff and several players who have moved between the two footballing giants over the decades. Currently, the Blaugrana have Jasper Cillessen on their books. The goalkeeper joined from Ajax in 2016, though has found himself playing second fiddle to Marc-André ter Stegen.

However, what transfer fee Barcelona would need to fork out remains to be seen. With his goals in the Champions League knockout stages and international teammate Virgil van Dijk moving from Southampton to Liverpool for £75 million 16 months ago, a similar fee could be requested for the future superstar. Given that he has so many years ahead of him, few would doubt it would be a worthwhile investment…