Matthijs de Ligt: Premier League giants told to sign Ajax captain as he is ‘absolutely made for English football’
Young Ajax powerhouse Matthijs de Ligt is ‘made for English football’ and the player himself is surprised no top Premier League clubs have yet registered a serious interest in him.
That’s according to Dutch football journalist Marcel van der Kraan, who joined talkSPORT on Wednesday morning to look back on Ajax’s stunning Champions League victory over Juventus.
Having dumped out defending champions Real Madrid in the last 16, the outstanding young side took another giant scalp as they booted Juve out of the quarter-finals – ending Cristiano Ronaldo’s hope of claiming a fourth straight European title.
The Dutch outfit, whose starting line-up at the Allianz Stadium was an average age of just 24, will next face either Manchester City or Tottenham in the semis.
One of the stars of the show in Turin was 19-year-old Ajax captain De Ligt, whose thumping header from a corner sealed the 2-0 victory.
De Ligt has been strongly linked with a move away from Amsterdam this summer, with Barcelona and Juventus reportedly very keen on the Netherlands international.
But Van der Kraan insists the youngster would be the perfect signing for a Premier League club, saying whoever he joins will be getting ‘another Virgil van Dijk’.
Speaking on Wednesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, he said: “We think Barcelona will be knocking on the door again next week to finish another transfer. They like him. They like him a lot.
“Juventus have already tried to get him.
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“The player has actually been surprised that none of the big Premier League clubs have knocked on the door with similar offers.
“I think Matthijs de Ligt is absolutely made for English football.
“He is an absolute force, he’s physically stronger than anybody in that Ajax team and the attacking power he has at corners and set pieces – the way he headed in that second goal which helped Ajax into the semi-final, it was phenomenal.
“You have another Van Dijk coming to the Premier League if you get Matthijs de Ligt.”
Ajax’s sensational Champions League run will no doubt attract plenty of suitors for their top stars this summer.
Midfielder Frenkie de Jong is already on his way to Barcelona, having agreed a €75m move to the Spanish giants, and De Ligt could potentially follow him.
Dusan Tadic only arrived from Southampton last summer but could well be on the move again having so far claimed 32 goals and provided 20 assists this season, while Hakim Ziyech, Donny van de Beek and David Neres could also be poached by top sides.
And Van der Kraan admits it’s highly likely Ajax’s young team will be pillaged.
“We expect half the team will go,” he added.
“It’s unavoidable. It’s happened before and it will happen again.
“The Ajax academy will just have to be like a conveyor belt of talent. They already have players ready in the under-19s.”
Listen back to Marcel van der Kraan on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above
Source: SportsLatest TS