Football News

Man City urged to sign De Ligt “immediately” by Erik ten Haag’s Ajax predecessor

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:33, 23 May 2019

Manchester City should sign Dutch centre-back Matthijs de Ligt to replace Vincent Kompany, according to former Ajax manager Peter Bosz.

De Ligt, 19, has enjoyed a phenomenal season with Ajax, captaining them to a 34th Eredivisie title and Dutch Cup win alongside an amazing run to the Champions League semi-finals.

Should Man City sign De Ligt? Five key things to know…

  1. Matthijs de Ligt has emerged as one of the most highly-sought after centre-backs in Europe this season.
  2. The 19-year-old has been a key part of Ajax’s return to the top of Dutch football.
  3. As a result, many of Europe’s top clubs have been linked with the teenager including Man City and Barcelona.
  4. And former Ajax manager Peter Bosz believes Man City should “immediately” sign De Ligt to partner Aymeric Laporte.
  5. City will have a big hole to fill in their squad next season after Vincent Kompany announced his departure.

These came in addition to the personal accolade of being named Europe’s Golden Boy in late 2018, seeing De Ligt heavily linked with a move away from Ajax.

Barcelona are currently the favourites for the teenager’s signature this summer having already confirmed the signing of his Ajax teammate Frenkie de Jong. But Bosz, who managed De Ligt 23 times while in charge of Ajax, believes Man City should make a move “immediately”.

He told Voetbal International: “Normally I would say to a 19-year-old boy who has had two years of professional football: patience, it will come, take two more years of experience with Ajax. In the Eredivisie, in the Champions League.

“Only, I think Matthijs is the exception that confirms the rule. That he is already ready for that step.

“But what is the best step? In my eyes, that must be a club where you can play.

“If I were Manchester City, I would get him immediately.

“Vincent Kompany is leaving and I don’t think Nicolas Otamendi is good enough. It would fit perfectly with Laporte. He will play even better with Matthijs next to him, I am convinced of that.”

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Bosz also commented on the links to Barcelona, but added his beliefs that Gerard Pique might hinder De Ligt’s progress.

He added: “I also hear Barcelona everywhere, but there you have to deal with Gerard Pique.

“That would mean, if Samuel Umtiti did indeed leave, that he had to come to play centrally on the left.

“That doesn’t have to be a problem, because I think Matthijs can play on the left as well as the right in the centre just as easily.”

Jenas: Man City should go for Maguire over De Ligt

Despite Bosz backing De Ligt to succeed should he sign for Manchester City, former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has other thoughts.

Rather than go for the exciting teenager, Jenas believes City would be better off signing Leicester City defender Harry Maguire who is just as capable as De Ligt – albeit slightly older.

He told BBC 5 Live: “I think he’s a top player, he’s a prospect, he’s only 19 years old and he has got obvious leadership qualities that his players respect, and the way that he plays.

“But I actually think Harry Maguire is a better player at the minute, personally. Weirdly enough, if I was Manchester City, I would go for Harry Maguire over De Ligt right now, I really would.

“I think he’s a top player, De Ligt. But when I watch Harry Maguire especially against Manchester City the other day when he’s coming out with the ball at his feet and he’s taking people on.

“From what I see, I don’t see really what he [De Ligt] does, that Harry Maguire can’t to, except for the age difference.”

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