Why Manchester City should sign Matthijs De Ligt from Ajax
According to a report in Sun Football, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is keen to bolster his defence by eyeing up a £50m move for Ajax wonderkid Matthijs De Ligt. This would spell danger for Nicolas Otamendi, who hasn’t played much football this season.
Coincidence or not, Spanish giants Barcelona want to sign the Argentine centre-back in a shock swoop this month. The 30-year-old has featured only 10 times in the Premier League this season, and is poised to leave the Etihad Stadium. (Sun)
The Cityzens have Aymeric Laporte and John Stones as their first-choice defensive partnership, with captain Vincent Kompany providing the able support. However, if Otamendi leaves, they need to make sure De Ligt arrives at the club soon.
Here’s why Guardiola’s men would get a better deal if they replace the Argentine with the Dutchman:
De Ligt’s qualities are more quantified to how City play
Matthijs De Ligt is one of most composed centre-backs in European football, which is incredible considering he is only 19 years old. His qualities on and off the ball are akin to how Pep Guardiola wants his centre-backs to play.
The Dutchman is good on the ball, can pick up possession when the opposition is pressing high and can pick out the right pass to break that press. He has a fantastic recovery pace to stop any forward running away from him towards the goal.
Furthermore, the Ajax wonderkid is fantastic in the air and imposes himself dominantly against the forwards. We saw him playing for the Netherlands alongside Virgil van Dijk, and the similarities between the two were a sight to behold.
If we take stats into account, De Ligt has a pass completion rate of 91.8% in the Eredivisie; numbers that any midfielder would be proud of. He has won aerial duels at an average of 3.4 per game, and has made interceptions at a rate of 1.3. Hence, we can say the youngster has an incredible defensive mind that enables him to snuff out dangers and intercept through balls. (Whoscored.com)
His height (188cm) automatically makes a genuine threat during set-pieces. All in all, he looks like a player who will flourish under the watchful guidance of Pep Guardiola.
On the other hand, Nicolas Otamendi is 30 years old now and doesn’t always seem to fit the way the Manchester City manager likes to play. Hence, it would be ideal for the Premier League champions to replace Otamendi with De Ligt.