Juventus have won the race to sign Ajax teenager Matthijs De Ligt.

The 19-year-old central defender was 1 of the hottest properties in globe football and starred in Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-finals.

He courted interest from some of Europe’s largest clubs this summer time prior to signing a 5-year deal at Juve.

Right here, PA requires a appear at the youngest player ever to captain Ajax.

Beginning out

Tottenham Hotspur Training and Press Conference – Ajax Stadium
Matthijs De Ligt joined the Ajax academy at the age of nine (Adam Davy/PA)

De Ligt was born in the town of Leiderdorp in western Holland on August 12, 1999. He was a keen tennis player prior to focusing on football. De Ligt joined the Ajax youth academy at the age of nine from his neighborhood club in Abcoude, just south of Amsterdam. By the age of 16, he was instruction with the initial group and destined for stardom.

Dropping back

Ajax v Manchester United – UEFA Europa League Final – Friends Arena
De Ligt, correct, often played as a midfielder at the Ajax academy prior to breaking into the initial group (Nick Potts/PA)

Former Ajax academy coach Ruben Jongkind, the man who helped to devise and implement the Cruyff Strategy at the Eredivisie club among 2011 and 2015, frequently played De Ligt in central midfield. “He has to play in the midfield due to the fact 1 of his difficulties is the speed of his actions and his choice-generating,” he mentioned. Jongkind insisted that De Ligt would turn into a centre-back for the initial group by building his expertise as “a quantity six”.

Stam comparisons

Man U/N’castle Dalglish
Matthijs De Ligt has been compared to the former Manchester United and Holland defender Jaap Stam (Owen Humphreys/PA)

De Ligt has been compared to the former Manchester United and Holland defender Jaap Stam. The two guys share the similar impressive physical stature, though De Ligt was thought of a bit chubby in his youth. Like Stam, De Ligt is an aggressive tackler, comfy on the ball and hazardous from set-pieces. Stam has mentioned of De Ligt: “He’s a excellent player. He’s only a youngster. But in how he plays, he’s an adult.”

Producing waves

Soon after just 17 games for Jong Ajax, De Ligt produced his senior debut in a cup game against Willem II. He scored immediately after 25 minutes, generating him Ajax’s second-youngest goalscorer ever behind Clarence Seedorf. De Ligt was named the youngest captain of Ajax in March 2018. He is also the youngest-ever captain in a Champions League knockout game (19 years and 186 days old) and the youngest player to play 100 games for Ajax.

National service

Netherlands v England – International Friendly – Amsterdam ArenA
De Ligt, correct, won his initial cap for Holland at the age of 17 (Nick Potts/PA)

Former Holland coach Danny Blind known as De Ligt up for the national group in spite of the teenager obtaining only began two league games for Ajax. De Ligt produced his debut in a two- away defeat to Bulgaria in a Globe Cup qualifier in March 2017. At the age of 17, he became the youngest player to start off for Holland due to the fact 1931 and, beneath Ronald Koeman, he helped Oranje attain final month’s Nations League final.

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