Chelsea interested in 22-year-old Dutch defensive ace – A good move by Tuchel?

Matthijs de Ligt in actions for Juventus (Getty Images)
Matthijs de Ligt in actions for Juventus (Getty Images)

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Matthijs de Ligt is on the radar of Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea

According to Calciomercato (h/t, Chelsea are interested in a move for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt. The 22-year-old has featured in all three games for the Old Lady this season, including 2 starts against the likes of Udinese and Empoli while he came off the bench on Saturday in the game against Napoli. 

The Dutchman joined Juventus from Ajax in the summer of 2019 in a deal worth €75million. The centre-back was a crucial part of the Ajax side that won the Eredivisie in the 2018/19 season as he captained them to glory. Now after just 2 seasons at Juventus, could the 22-year-old make the move to Chelsea? Moreover, would this be a good signing by the Blues?

Chelsea could use a defender as young as Matthijs de Ligt in their squad

Chelsea currently possess a number of centre-backs, namely Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Trevoh Chalobah, Malang Sarr, and Cesar Azpilicueta. However, that might not quite be the case next summer.

Matthijs De Ligt captained Ajax to an Eredivisie title in the 2018/19 season.(imago Images)
Matthijs De Ligt captained Ajax to an Eredivisie title in the 2018/19 season.(imago Images)

Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger are both in the final year of their contracts, and while it looks like the Dane is close to agreeing an extension on his current deal, the German is said to be weighing up his options. PSG and Real Madrid are also said to be circling around for the 28-year-old’s signature next summer. 

Moreover, Thiago Silva also has less than a year left on his current deal, while he will also turn 38 by the start of the next season. Cesar Azpilicueta is also yet to sign a contract extension while he will also be 33 next year. Chalobah has performed well under Tuchel in the few games he has featured so far, but the German boss has previously hinted that he could use the youngster in a defensive midfield role. 

Thus, the Stamford Bridge outfit would stand to benefit with the addition of a young centre-back coming in through the door, especially after they failed in their effort to sign Jules Kounde this summer.

De Ligt could act as a mainstay in the team for several years

At 22, de Ligt has already played a lot of first-team football while he has also been a part of title-winning teams. Additionally, he also has considerable experience of playing at the very top as he has captained Ajax to a Champions League semi-final previously, where they narrowly missed out on reaching the final.

Matthijs de Ligt won the Serie A with Juventus in 2020. (imago Images)
Matthijs de Ligt won the Serie A with Juventus in 2020. (imago Images)

There is also the matter of needing squad depth from the perspective of Chelsea. The Blues compete in four competitions every year and given that Thomas Tuchel operates with a 3-man defence, adequate depth in the centre-back department is very much necessary.

However, there is a question of the financial viability of this deal. As things stand, de Ligt has two years left on his current deal at Juventus, which gives them some leverage in negotiations. 

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But, the Blues have been known to spend big money when they have needed to fill a position, evidenced by their efforts to sign Romelu Lukaku for a club-record deal when they were on the lookout for a centre-forward.

And, de Ligt, who is young enough to be a pivotal player at club for several years, can prove to be a wise addition in the immediate sense, as well as the long run for Chelsea.