Juventus Sign Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax on 5-Year Contract

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2019

Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax during the Dutch Eredivisie match between De Graafschap Doetinchem and Ajax Amsterdam at De Vijverberg stadium on May 15, 2019 in Doetinchem, The Netherlands(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Juventus on Thursday signed Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt on a five-year deal.

The club announced the Dutchman's capture via Twitter:

JuventusFC @juventusfcen

💡 LIGTS 🔛 | Matthijs de Ligt officially signs for Juventus! ✍️⚪⚫ https://t.co/dWhtEdSULz #TURNDELIGTON #LiveAhead https://t.co/1xrVIFqSBy

Juve confirmed they have snapped him up in a €75 million deal, with further additional costs of €10.5 million.

Football writer Adam Digby suggested the add-ons will be going to De Ligt's agent, Mino Raiola, but felt the structure of the deal was a shrewd move from the Italian giants:

Adam Digby @Adz77

Getting Ajax to agree to let #Juventus pay the fee for De Ligt over five years is good business. Meanwhile, those “additional costs” show that once again #ThePizzaManAlwaysGetsASlice

As for Ajax, they are among the most profitable clubs in Europe, as Dutch football writer Sjors van Veen highlighted:

Sjors van Veen @SjorsvVeen

Ajax have officially sold Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus for €75m. It means that the club has a positive transfer balance of €200m since the summer of 2014. Only Porto, Benfica, Monaco and Salzburg got more profit from transfers during this period. #good https://t.co/BSMjuPlmMQ

De Ligt, 19, has joined Juve on the back of captaining Ajax to their first Eredivisie title since 2014.

He helped his team keep 24 clean sheets, scored seven goals and assisted four more in 55 matches in all competitions in the 2018-19 campaign.

Despite his age, it's clear he's already a vocal leader on and off the pitch:


Reminder: Matthijs de Ligt is 19-years-old. This is beautiful 👌 https://t.co/GY9NmFZ7Cq

He played against Manchester United in the 2017 UEFA Europa League final at 17, and De Ligt has continued to impress since.

Last season, he stood out in the UEFA Champions League, helping Ajax knock out Real Madrid and Juventus on the way to the semi-finals.

Football statistician Dave O'Brien provided some insight into his performance against the latter as Ajax won 2-1 in Turin:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Matthijs de Ligt’s game by numbers vs. Juventus: 100% tackles won 10 clearances 3 aerials won 3 ball recoveries 1 goal Unbelievable talent. 🇳🇱🙌 https://t.co/xDWSe5brNJ

The Independent's Miguel Delaney was among the many admirers he won during the course of the campaign:

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

Trying to think of centre-halves in history so accomplished at the age of just 19. Tends to be a position where you notice them much later in age. De Ligt unreal. Bergomi? Baresi?

The centre-back is not only an accomplished defender, but he's also technically adept, allowing him to carry the ball out from the back and into midfield with confidence.

De Ligt's arrival should help them tighten up further at the back, and he will also have plenty to contribute when the team are in possession.

Juve conceded 30 goals last season. While it was the best defensive record in Serie A, it was their worst since the 2010-11 campaign, in which they finished seventh.

Andrea Barzagli retired this summer at 38, while Giorgio Chiellini will turn 35 on August 14, so De Ligt will be a welcome presence at the Allianz Stadium.


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