Matthijs de Ligt can’t give up on Juventus already

Juventus, Matthijs de Ligt (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Juventus, Matthijs de Ligt (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Transfer rumours continue to swirl regarding Matthijs de Ligt and his future at Juventus. The top-class centre-back is enjoying another quality season in Turin, having joined in the summer 2019 transfer window as one of the biggest blockbuster moves of the year.

It did not take long for the former Ajax captain to establish himself as a leader for Juve. His willingness to order teammates, his comfort alongside titans of the club Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, and his desire to quickly learn the language (both Italian and the language of the club) have made him a fan favourite.

So these rumours of a possible departure become even more disheartening. It is clear that Juventus have no intention of selling such a talented and important player to their defence, as they already probably made a mistake by selling another talented young centre back this past summer – Merih Demiral to Atalanta.

But it is not Juve’s choice to make. De Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola planted the seeds of a summer 2022 transfer as early as last year, though de Ligt did respectfully quell those comments. Even so, like a good agent, Raiola has left the door open for a switch, and he probably did so at the time, worrying about Juve’s future after they sold Cristiano Ronaldo without any sort of an adequate replacement for their leading goal-scorer.

Juventus, Dusan Vlahovic
Juventus, Dusan Vlahovic (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images) /

Juventus look so much better after signing Dusan Vlahovic

Of course, a lot has changed since then. Juventus look like a significantly better team than they did in 2020-2021, even with Ronaldo. And that is because they have signed the best scorer in Serie A – yes, even above Ciro Immobile now – in Dusan Vlahovic. Alongside him, Juve made another shrewd signing, scooping up the underrated Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach, thus giving the Bianconeri two midfield upgrades in the last two windows, factoring in Serie A standout Manuel Locatelli.

De Ligt can see a brighter future in Turin now. Whereas before, Juve were in trouble without a top striker and with remaining questions in midfield, those two major holes have been patched up. There are still issues at left back, for example, though Luca Pellegrini has attacking potential. So even there, Juve have hope heading into a summer where they have less to do than maybe de Ligt would have thought.

In terms of the sporting project, Juventus look strong once more after being the big winners of the winter transfer window. That alone should quiet any doubts de Ligt may have had about his future. Raiola, of course, has an incentive to want a transfer for his own benefit, but the choice is not his to make. He knows that. He represents his client’s wishes.

And de Ligt, by all accounts, loves Juve. He knows that sentimentally, he has a chance to become a colossus at Juve, a legendary defender on the ranks of all those at the club that have come before him. That is a high aspiration, but it is one Juventini also believe de Ligt can reach, especially with the right team around him. After this winter, Juve can have optimism they are heading in the right direction.

Juventus, Matthijs de Ligt, Leonardo Bonucci
Juventus, Matthijs de Ligt, Leonardo Bonucci (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images) /

Matthijs de Ligt needs to remember the importance of building a legacy

Positivity is contagious, too. Paulo Dybala’s renewal seems much more likely now that Vlahovic is in the house, as the two are hitting things off immediately. There is real chemistry among the front three of Alvaro Morata, Vlahovic, and Dybala – a chemistry that never really existed in the previous seasons, despite Ronaldo’s individual quality. All of this does not even account for Federico Chiesa’s return. Like de Ligt, he is a jewel of the future for Juve and already a top player. He is one more reason for de Ligt to believe in this team.

Juventus have the legacy and are now showing that they still have the ambition and talent to succeed. The Scudetto is not out of the question for the Bianconeri, and the top four is now an expectation for a club still alive in the Coppa Italia and Champions League this season.

Though the rumors have not quieted yet, I would expect them to. I would expect de Ligt to make a public statement affirming his commitment to Juventus. It just makes too much sense. Where else is there for him to go? Would he really go for Chelsea and put his legacy at Juve on the line to be amidst a sea of many for the rich club in London? Who else could afford him? Real Madrid and PSG have other priorities.

Next. Who should Juventus re-sign and let go?. dark

Juve is his best bet. It is where he can add to his legacy and grow with a great club that seems to be fighting its feet again, quicker than many probably expected after a tumultuous 2020/21 and a catastrophic start to 2021/22.