The performance of Matthijs de Ligt tonight will surely give Thomas Tuchel more reason to want to make this deal a top priority.
Juventus started the match with a back four, playing De Ligt, who started in the left centre back role. Chelsea have been linked with Matthijs de Ligt in the last few weeks and proved tonight why he’s thought of as a top defender next to the experienced Leonardo Bonucci.
De Ligt has been shifted from his usual role of right-sided centre-back into left centre-back by Massimiliano Allegri which didn’t stop him from performing at the very highest level.
It’s rumoured that De Ligt has a £128 million release clause that becomes active next summer, meaning Juventus would be powerless to prevent his departure if the valuation is met.
The front three tonight all struggled to get into the game with De Ligt never seeming to be in any situation that would cause him a worry.
Tuchel currently plays with a back-three system with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger really impressing and kicking on in their career since he joined the Blues in January. This will be something De Ligt will be hoping to happen if he does make the switch to England. With both Christensen and Rudiger deals still set to expire next summer, the urgency to sign a new defender might be high on the club’s priority list.
At the age of 22, he’s already got over 200 senior appearances to his name. The young Dutchman started his career in Ajax’s famous academy, signing for the club at nine years of age. After the sale of Davinson Sánchez to Tottenham Hotspur in August 2017, De Ligt became a first-team starter.
He became the youngest player ever to captain a team in the knockout stages of the Champions League. He was named the youngest captain of Ajax in March 2018 after injury to club captain Joel Veltman.
After a series of impressive performances on the biggest stage, he got his big move to Italian giants Juventus in 2019. The fee is believed to be around £67million so he is now used to the big price tag around his name.
The Blues got strongly linked with Jules Kounde from Sevilla in the previous window, though their pursuit of the 22-year-old hit a problem late on.
After two seasons in Italy, it’s made de Ligt a much more rounded defender to add to his impressive ability on the ball. De Ligt has emerged as an alternative candidate for Chelsea and I’m more than in favour of this move. His height, power and calmness on the ball now with his art of defending he has learnt in his two seasons at Juventus makes him a very hot property.
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If Chelsea decides to table a bid for De Ligt, it would have to likely hit that release clause but with the quality he possesses and turning 22 just last month, he has all the minerals to be a star for now and many years to come.
His current contract expires in the summer of 2024 and Juventus are likely to want to try and sort out his future if that’s with them or not this summer. This might give Marina Granovskaia the one opening needed.
I’m very confident he could fit into Chelsea if they did go all in for him and activate that release clause. I expect Tuchel will like to go to a back four at some point in the future and De Ligt will tick the boxes.
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