Monday June 24 2019
Timeless De Ligt tailored to Juve

Matthijs de Ligt boasts the traditional and modern qualities of a complete centre-back, which is why Anthony Barbagallo believes the Dutch starlet could be Juve’s present and future talisman. 

Many Juventus supporters were confident that their side would finally end their 23-year wait for Champions League last season after their blockbuster signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. But while the Bianconeri failed to address the midfield problems, they were completely oblivious about the state of their wounded backline – something rare for a team who pride itself on flawless defending. 

With the Scudetto holders about to become accustomed to ‘Sarrismo’, now is the ideal time for them to sign a complete centre-back, especially one that can thrive under Maurizio Sarri’s attacking philosophy. In these last couple of days, there has been concrete evidence that suggests Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt could be the next grand signing for the Old Lady. 

With Barcelona reportedly pulling out of the race to sign the teenage sensation, the Turin side will hope they can fend off Paris Saint-Germain and acquire the potential heir to Giorgio Chiellini. But is it worth spending €70m for a 19-year-old, who is still a young prospect in Europe?

In all honesty, Juve’s defence has deteriorated ever since that excruciating Champions League night in Cardiff two years ago. Following Andrea Barzagli’s recent retirement, the only remains of the iconic and intimidating ‘BBC’ backline are Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. Age is rapidly catching up with the pair, who are beyond their prime playing days. Bonucci’s short stint at Milan two seasons ago didn’t benefit his performance from an individual perspective, which is why he has struggled for consistency and kept producing blunders in set-piece situations since returning from San Siro. 

Chiellini, meanwhile, may still be one of the finest centre-backs in world football, but the veteran is soon turning 35 – an age when a player’s body starts struggling with the demands of regular top-level football. If Juventus sign De Ligt then we could be about to witness one of the most formidable centre-back duos in modern Calcio times.

De Ligt and Chiellini share some parallels in terms of physical and intelligent defending – many Juve fans can picture this pair intimidating many forwards at home and abroad in warrior-like fashion, with bandages wrapped around their heads. A De Ligt-Chiellini defensive partnership would probably last for no more than two seasons, but it would nonetheless be a fruitful combination, which could help take the Dutchman’s defensive game to another level. 

In the last couple of campaigns, the Juventus backline has always looked frail without Chiellini on the pitch. Bonucci has also struggled to showcase leadership qualities with no Chiellini alongside him, in turn negatively affecting Daniele Rugani when he fills in. One thing for sure is that De Ligt possesses the confidence to command a backline and an entire team – displaying signs of maturity way beyond his age. The Ajax stopper would certainly have the ability to ensure Juve don’t lose any control in the defence when Chiellini isn’t playing.

In terms of ability, De Ligt has it all. The teenager produces precise and clean tackles – one of the fine arts of his game. His shadowing stature and physical strength have seen him avert aerial threats in set-piece situations and also score from outrageous headers in attacking positions, particularly corner kicks. The majority of goals the Bianconeri have conceded in the last couple of seasons came from set-piece situations, including when De Ligt recently scored the winner for Ajax to eliminate the Old Lady in the Champions League quarter-finals. 

De Ligt’s attacking prowess is another reason why Juve should splash the cash on this emerging superstar. The 2018 Golden Boy winner excels in building play through his creative passing and dynamic runs – skills that will complement Sarri’s brand of Calcio. 

Matthijs de Ligt’s maturity, confidence, attacking threat and defensive qualities are what make him the complete centre-back in modern-day football. If Juventus manage to secure his signature, they will be on course in taking their football to new heights in Europe.

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Have your say...
Pjanic and Khedira can be sold. Matuidi should be kept because he is a workhorse. The problem was the midfield around him was slow and predictable and he was often battling alone. I was not impressed with Pjanic. I found him to be dependable but not nothing more. For me he played better while at Roma. Its possible a new coach like Sarri might get something more out of him compared to Allegri. But If u want to win in Europe your midfield has to be very strong and more than just average.
on the 30th June, 2019 at 2:25am
@ravanelli. . . If we can get Pogba, we should take him and Zaniolo along side the free Rabiot. Ajax really exposed our midfield and we were not imaginative down the middle. We always used to go to the flanks making us predictable.
on the 29th June, 2019 at 11:21pm
Juve to sell Spinazzola !!!
on the 28th June, 2019 at 7:22pm
As for Pogba, we really do not need him if Rabiot arrives. Not least because of the way he left and his comments afterwards, but mostly because of the cost.

Pjanic, Ramsey, Can, Rabiot seems excellent to me.

Khedira and Matuidi need to be sold.

If we're gonna get a big name midfielder, I hope it would be Milinkovic Savic. But I doubt the management will splash that much cash.
on the 28th June, 2019 at 3:15pm
The release clause is the only negative in this deal.

It is way to low. In 3-4 years, Real or Barca will come knocking. He would be 24-25 years old by then and at his peak. All we're doing is help him develop.
This is worst case scenario of course. Who knows, he might be our next captain. But I wish the release clause was 250 instead.
on the 28th June, 2019 at 3:10pm
If Dybala does not excel in Sarrismo, I say sell him to real Madrid. I would say we swap him for Icardi on condition Icardi drops Wanda as his agent. Then, we can sell Costa to get Zaniolo and play a 4-3-1-2. Scszensy;Cancelo, Deligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Pjanic, Rabiot,Pogba;Zaniolo;Ronaldo, Icardi.
on the 26th June, 2019 at 4:00pm
I support the move to buy De Ligt but do we have enough money to buy Pogba after this? 2. With sarrismo, Chiello and Deligt solidity can allow fullbacks to go forward. How then do we want to sell Cancelo, our most effective attacking fullback with highest and best crosser of the ball? How? This is annoying.
on the 26th June, 2019 at 3:50pm
The team love to see ..

Ron. Dybala. Chiesa

Ramsey rabiot


Sandro chilieni. De ligt. Cancelo
on the 26th June, 2019 at 2:07pm
De Ligt is the only young defender that impressed me in last 3 years. Chiellini gonna retire next season and injure proneness. He was the biggest miss in the final against Barcelona and against Ajax. Bonucci has never been reliable without Chiellini.
De Ligt is a much better investment than mission impossible Koulibaly. The only possible negative is do we still have fund to buy Pogba? Then the team is almost complete
on the 26th June, 2019 at 9:08am

Yes, everything Juventus does is fake, plastic, irrelevant... The 8 Scudetti on the bounce is fake, the 2 UCL finals in last 5 years is fake, 35 Scudetti overall is fake, providing the highest number of Italians to La Nazionale in their entire history and especially during the 4 World Cups won is fake.

At this point I would ask you to donate your brain to science, because you must one of the rarest humans who functions without an actual functional brain.

Ciao, idiota!
on the 25th June, 2019 at 8:34pm

"Think De Ligt be great if we can get him but again do we need that to win serie A again"

Dude what are you smoking? De Ligt would be brought for CL and 70 M tag price for an already world class defender at age 19 years old is a no brainer. Collecting the money is a piece of cake thanks to genius Paratici for collecting high profile names in Juve squad. From now on, selling them is easy after Agnelli sent Marrotta along with his stupid transfer policy away.
on the 25th June, 2019 at 5:59pm
Really think this is another juve media stunt to increase the shares
Yet again .., let’s look at Pep story sold papers and share prices went up
Don’t think juve can afford Another blip like Ron, they brought him for champions league
And failed to beat Man U and young boys.
Think De Ligt be great if we can get him but agsin do we need that to win seria A agsin
For 9th time ?? No real competition in Seria A left so in Europe they look dominanated
And ran all over.
on the 25th June, 2019 at 11:16am
@Black and Blue. Because Juve is 10 times better than Intercour** and he loves to taste salty flavor from a jealous fan like you. Hahahahahahaha~
on the 25th June, 2019 at 6:31am
Why would he sign for RUBE when he can make millions more with other teams and actually compete for continental trophy's? #wearecoming
on the 24th June, 2019 at 8:44pm
I'm somewhat ambivalent about Juve's potential signing of De Ligt. On the one hand it would make the gap between them and the other teams even bigger, but on the other hand it would be good for serie A to be seen as being able to draw the greatest talents again.
And that is just what this young man is; the single greatest central defensive talent I've ever seen.
There's no predicting the future with absolute certainty, but de Ligt is the safest bet Juve could make in my humble opinion.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 7:55pm
Juve have been overlooking their deficiencies in the back line for too long now. De Ligt is a perfect replacement for Barzagli and replace Bonucci in the starting line up. Bonucci, Rugani as good substitutes with no pressure on Rugani and he can develop well.

One thing that we are ignoring is the rumour surrounding Cancelo. I really don’t want him to leave at all. We won’t find a RB close to his qualities with Sarrismo.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 7:22pm
DDR is the future.

Demiral/De Ligt/Romero.

Sell Bonucci.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 6:59pm
you cash in for the $150MM release clause on down the line as player costs continue to spiral ridiculously out of control, but hopefully you now have a central defender anchor for the next 10+ years.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 5:59pm
This would be huge for Juve, exactly what is needed, especially with the age of our defenders and Chiellini's propensity to break down in the spring (nobody really ever talked about him missing both Ajax games and how that might have impacted the tie). Would think De Ligt would start virtually every game, mostly with Chiellini, but would be able to rest him enough to hopefully keep him healthy. Assuming he continues to develop (or even if he just maintains his high level), the worst case is
on the 24th June, 2019 at 5:57pm
Do all it takes to sign him and get rid of Bonucci.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 5:05pm
Imagine we can add Chiesa, it would top last summers transfer window.

Cuadrado and Costa should be sold - can count the amount of times they have been match fit, the funds from both can be used to buy Chiesa.

A forward line of Ronaldo Dybala Chiesa under Sarri would be insane.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 4:47pm
BLOCKBUSTER SIGNING! As BIG as Cristiano. De Ligt will easily be the BEST in his position for the next 15 years. He's already in the top 5 and he's 19! Amortize his transfer fee over that time and you realize what a coup Juve is making.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 3:27pm
This is a no-brainer for Juve and Serie A

He looks the business and Juve should be all over him to convince him to come.

He could be their top CB for 15 years and a real coup for a league that has - other than Juve - lost much of its pulling power for top players.

If he arrives Serie A will be home to many of the world's best CB's.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 2:33pm
please please please yessssssssssss go get him. Our defense is really poor at the minute and as you say Chellini and Bonucci are not getting any younger. We are leaking more goals than i care to remember at the minute and Chellini will get more and more injuries as time ticks on....De Ligt and Rugani seems the way forward now.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 1:36pm
Anyone but Bonucci is a win for me. I don't want to see Bonucci starts in big games again.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 1:03pm
YES - Sign that guy. Better him than three average players.
on the 24th June, 2019 at 12:57pm
He will sign, some bookmakers aren't even taking anymore bets on him to join Juve, they rarely get it wrong it was no different with Sarri odds.

I agree, Chellini and De Ligt starting.

Bonucci has lost his way and is no longer as good as he was and even then you could ask was it actually Barzagli and Chellini carrying him. I always say Romagnoli should start for Italy over Bonucci - hopefully Mancini will see this once he becomes a sub at Juve.

De Ligt for 70mill it's great business!
on the 24th June, 2019 at 12:42pm
Despite being a hardcore Juventino, I honestly do not believe that De Ligt will sign for us.

Clearly he has his heart set on more money, due to his leech of an agent Raiola, so he may well opt for PSG.

I, however, would be pleasantly surprised... but life is not PES/FIFA/FM, so let's see...
on the 24th June, 2019 at 12:22pm

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