Dutch Defender Matthijs De Ligt Chooses Juventus Over Other Major European Clubs
Matthijs de Ligt has joined Juventus after a massive transfer saga with all the major European clubs going after the 19-year-old Dutch defender. In the end, he decided to join Italian giants Juventus alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
According to the Bianconceri, de Ligt’s fee summed up to €75 million ($84.1 million) that Juventus had to pay Ajax for the defender. He signed a five-year contract, and according to the Guardian, he could be earning up to $516,000 in a weekly wage.
Signing de Ligt is a massive statement for the Italian giants to install themselves as favorites as both the domestic league and the European Champions league. Former manager Massimiliano Allegri resigned this summer, and Chelsea FC manager and Italian international Maurizio Sarri came to join the team.
De Ligt has a €150 million ($168.3 million) buyout clause that will come into effect in June 2022. De Ligt said he is excited to join a team under Sarri.
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“I spoke to Sarri on the phone before coming just to get to know each other,” he said, according to Bleacher Report. “He was one of the reasons that I wanted to join here, I’ve heard a lot of good things about him and I like his footballing philosophy and how he prepares his defense.”
De Ligt is a superb signing for Juventus, who has been built on the art of defending in the past decades, but seemed to lose their groove in these last few years. Many Italian legends ran the back line and drove them to European success, and the 19-year-old has that sort of potential.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) July 19, 2019
Juventus signed Ronaldo for €100 million ($112 million) last summer, and have started to build upon that. This summer, they signed Arsenal man Aaron Ramsay and former Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who were both free agents this summer. They also picked up Luca Pellegrini from Roma for a fee of £20 million ($25 million), along with Cristian Romero of Genoa for £23.3 million ($29.1 million).
“It was a long process [coming here], I was just looking at what was good for me,” de Ligt said, according to SB Nation. “Italy is the country of defending, the country that loves defending the most.”
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