Who’s this 18-year-old Dutch prodigy on Barcelona’s radar? Everything you need to know

Ernesto Valverde
Matthijs De Ligt

Scout Report – Mattijs De Ligt

As per a report from Daily Mail, Barcelona will send scouts to monitor Mattijs De Ligt, who is currently playing as a centre-back for Ajax. De Ligt is regarded as one of the best young central defenders in European football and the Catalan giants have been interested in him for a while now.

The same report also goes on to state that Barcelona might lose either Yerry Mina or Thomas Vermaelen this summer, which will provide scope for the club to purchase De Ligt. But how good is the 18-year-old? Let’s take a closer look at his profile.

History

Born in 1999 at Leiderdorp, Netherlands, De Ligt was a youth player for Ajax’s esteemed academy. He joined the club at the tender age of 9 and rapidly rose through the ranks to establish himself as one of their most sensational young talents. Eventually, all his hard work was rewarded when he got officially promoted to the senior squad last October. Since then, there has been no stopping him.

As far as the international picture is concerned, De Ligt made his debut for the 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 star became the youngest player to don the orange jersey.

 

De Ligt with Paul Pogba

Playing Style

The defender is quite strong when it comes to aerial encounters. He possesses pretty much all the skills required to be a top-class defender and his passing and tackling are quite admirable. De Ligt boasts of a mean dribble as well and is an indirect set-piece threat. In addition to that, he can make some blinding runs to prevent opponent attackers from progressing further. Known for making short yet effective passes, De Ligt can also contribute 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 undoubtedly be a big deal for him since it can provide so much exposure.

It is highly unlikely for Ernesto Valverde to immediately grant him a spot in the Barcelona first-team but considering how hard-working De Ligt is, the youngster can put up a tough fight. 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.

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