Incoming new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag keen to reunite with Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt
Speaking on football journalist Gerard Romero’s Twitch stream (h/t The Sun), his colleague Oriol Domenech revealed that incoming new manager Erik ten Hag is looking to reunite with his former Ajax Amsterdam star Matthijs de Ligt.
The defender is currently playing for Juventus, having made the move from Ajax in 2019. He played under ten Hag for the Amsterdam outfit prior to his transfer to Italy, managing to win the domestic double in Holland.
de Ligt has been a regular fixture for the Bianconeri, lining up alongside either Giorgio Chiellini or Leanardo Bonucci at the heart of the defence. His time in Serie A has been fairly successful, managing to win the Serie A and Coppa Italia titles.
Only 22, the central defender has shown maturity beyond his age and held the back-line well for Juve. His displays have seen him catch the attention of United, who could do with a defender like him in their underperforming rearguard.
Ajax reunion at Old Trafford
That interest in de Ligt has been fast-tracked by the arrival of ten Hag, who Domenech says is keen to link up once again with his former Ajax captain. The defence is an area that needs reinforcements in Manchester, and the Dutch player could prove to make the difference.
The new manager seems to be getting the band back together at Old Trafford in the summer transfer window, as he looks to bring Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona to join him in England. ten Hag already has Donny van de Beek at Man United but could begin the new season with two more ex-Ajax stars.
This double swoop is sure to get United fans excited about the possibility of a mini-Ajax reunion in the Premier League, given the successful history that the transfer targets and their new boss share. Alongside van de Beek, de Ligt and de Jong were key members of ten Hag’s young and dynamic team in Amsterdam.
That team managed to win the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup in the 2018/19 season, as well as made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League that campaign. Unfortunately, they would see their amazing European run end thanks to a last-minute goal scored by Tottenham Hotspur’s Lucas Moura.
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Although ten Hag remained post that season, his three key players would eventually be sold by the Dutch side and move on in their careers. Now, however, there arises a possibility of seeing them take to the pitch once again.
Fans will hope that they are able to recreate the same kind of success they had at Ajax, although this will depend on whether de Ligt and de Jong opt to leave their clubs and also if van de Beek chooses to stay at Old Trafford. The midfielder has barely been afforded chances over the past couple of years, but that may now change with ten Hag’s arrival in the summer.