Scout Report – Matthijs De Ligt
Barcelona are set to make a move for young Ajax talent Matthijs De Ligt. Ajax could demand a tidy sum for the promising 18-year-old, but the Spanish club are unlikely to refuse to pay for a player who has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting young centre-backs in Europe. The Dutch defender is now a top target for Barcelona and could arrive in January.
De Ligt has been quite influential at the Amsterdam Arena ever since he broke into the Dutch club’s first-team last year. His splendid form has attracted many clubs but Barcelona are believed to be front-runners. The teenager is contracted to Ajax until 2021 but if the Spanish club can cough up the asking price, there is no reason for the Eredivisie club to deny them a deal.
Born in 1999 at Leiderdorp, Netherlands, De Ligt was a youth player for Ajax. He joined the club at the tender age of 9 and rapidly rose through the ranks to establish himself as a mainstay at the club. In fact, it was only last year in October that the youngster was officially promoted to the senior squad.
As far as international picture is concerned, De Ligt made his debut for Netherlands in March 2017. However, the Dutch lost 2-0 to Bulgaria in a World Cup qualifying match. Despite that, it is interesting to note that the teenage sensation became the youngest player to don the orange jersey.
The defender is quite strong when it comes to aerial encounters. His passing and tackling skills are top-notch and the player does boast of a mean dribble as well. De Ligt is an indirect set-piece threat, and he often capitalises on any slip up by the opposition. The player prefers short passes and is also adept at contributing to the attack.
Having said that, it must be noted that the player’s concentration often ends up wavering. To last a full 90 minutes, De Ligt must work on sharpening his focus to provide his best throughout the match.
De Ligt’s Future
Ajax’s academy is renowned for producing some of the sharpest young players, and De Ligt seems to be no different. He is very young and has a long way to go. The opportunity to join Barcelona will be a big deal for him since it can provide so much exposure.
He may not immediately be guaranteed a spot in the first-team but De Ligt can certainly fight for a spot. Barcelona need central defenders and with the young Dutchman’s talent, he will certainly go a long way if he completes the move to Catalonia.