It’s always surprising when a player looks so ready to make a move to an elite club, only for them to struggle and arguably look out of their depth after moving for a giant fee.
It’s so easy to forget that Matthijs de Ligt is still only 20, it feels like he’s been around for a long time and this season seemed like the natural time for him to step up to a bigger club after Ajax. He made the move to Juventus but has looked shaky and has struggled to replicate the form he showed as the dominant leader for the Dutch giants.
The plot has thickened slightly after AS reported on De Ligt’s situation and also highlighted some comments that Patrick Kluivert made to Mundo Deportivo. The legendary Dutch striker is now Director of Youth Football at Barcelona so he should have some noteworthy insight on the matter.
They indicated that Juventus spent €75m to take De Ligt to Italy, as also reported by Sky Sports this past summer, but was also linked with a move to Barca. When you consider Gerard Pique is getting older and Barca thrive on having centre backs who can play out from the back, they may have been the perfect destination for him.
Speaking about De Ligt’s decision to join Juventus, Kluivert said the following:
“I would not say I tried to convince him, I could only tell him very good things about both Barcelona the city, as well as the club.
“But in the end it is the player and his agent who decide. Of course De Ligt is a great defender, but in the end he made a choice. I think he is a little sorry, but it is what it is.
“In life you make choices and sometimes you do it well and sometimes badly. You have to learn from your decisions.”
It’s hard to say if this is an attempt from Barca to let Juventus know they would still be interested in signing him and might allow them to cut their losses for the defender, but it would be extraordinary to see them sell a big name signing this quickly.
Time will tell if he made the right choice, but if he ever has the chance to move to Barca and link up with his former teammate Frenkie de Jong, it’s something he should perhaps consider. AS also report that Ronald Koeman is a potential target for the Barcelona job after Euro 2020, so he may consider a move to bring De Ligt with him to the Nou Camp.