The lowdown: Rise to stardom
A product of the famed Ajax academy, he made a big-money move to Juventus in 2019 having flourished in the Dutch youth system and after 117 senior outings for the Eredivisie champions, and he has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Signed for an initial £67.8m (Sky Sports), the towering Dutchman has since made 117 appearances for the Serie A giants and played an integral role in the team which lifted the top-flight title in 2019/20.
Amidst protracted contract renewal discussions, it now appears as though potential suitors are positioning themselves to strike, with the Reds not willing to be left behind…
The latest: Liverpool linked with De Ligt
As per Calciomercato, Liverpool ‘should not be overlooked’ as the 22-year-old attempts to resolve his future, with Chelsea also attentive.
It’s claimed that the 37-cap Netherlands ace – who took the captain’s armband for the national team in the absence of Virgil van Dijk – wants to lower his release clause to €80m (£69m), whilst Juventus are looking to place a €140m (£120m) clause on the head of one of their most prized assets.
The report stated that the Anfield club are ‘considering the idea’ of pairing Van Dijk with the man hailed as ‘world class’ by journalist Jerry Mancini after a standout display against Austria at Euro 2020, during which the Juventus centre-back made three clearances, won three ground duels and completed each of his 40 passes in a 7.40 Sofascore rated performance.
The verdict: Worthwhile headache
Already boasting a well-stocked central defensive department containing Van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, adding De Ligt to the ranks would undoubtedly give Jurgen Klopp a huge selection dilemma.
However, opportunities to sign such prodigious talents don’t present themselves often, and the 6 foot 1 star would be a game-changing capture even with the existing strength in depth at Klopp’s disposal.
De Ligt scored three times in 42 appearances across all competitions last term, earning a 7.07 Sofascore rating whilst winning 4.6 duels and making 3.1 clearances per Serie A match – equalling Liverpool’s top performer and compatriot Van Dijk when it comes to clearances per game.
Do Liverpool need to sign De Ligt?
Possessing a wide range of impressive attributes, along with outstanding leadership qualities for a player still so young, De Ligt has the ability to thrive under Klopp’s methods and slot into the first team immediately as well as potentially being viewed as the long-term successor to Van Dijk.
Therefore, signing the powerful Dutch defender should be considered more than just a luxury for Julian Ward and FSG, particularly should the out-of-favour Gomez decide to seek more regular first-team football elsewhere this summer.
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