In a recent interview with Sport1 (transcribed by Goal), former Bundesliga star and Dutch international Rafael van der Vart said that he thinks Ajax starlet Matthijs de Ligt should join Bayern Munich this summer.
The 19-year-old center back has drawn attention from some of Europe’s elite clubs, and Barcelona has been suggested to be the front runners in acquiring his services for a fee of around 60 million euros, which it has reportedly already submitted to Ajax. If he does join Barcelona, he’d be joining fellow Ajax defender Frenkie de Jong, who’s already agreed to a €75m summer move.
Despite the heavy links to the Catalan giants, van der Vaart sees de Ligt as a perfect fit for Bayern and the Bundesliga. The former Hamburg midfielder started his career at Ajax before playing in the Bundesliga for a good six years and knows all about the style of play in Germany. He feels that de Light would fit the mold perfect for a club like Bayern:
I would advise him to go there, although I always said that he would be a good match for Juventus. Bayern play in central defense with Niklas Sule, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, but it is not clear if Hummels and Boateng will remain. So, there would be room for De Ligt. The boy is a great talent, has a lot of quality.
With Hummels and Boateng quickly approaching the closing stages of their careers, de Ligt could line himself up to be one of Bayern’s starting center backs if he does decide to move to Munich. If he were to move to Barcelona, he’d arguably face a more difficult prospect of cracking in to the starting eleven with Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Clément Lenglet, and Thomas Vermaelen already in the ranks. At such a young age, Bayern could prove to be perfect next step in his career under the guidance of Hummels, Boateng, and Sule. His positive attitude was lauded by can der Vaart, who said the youngster already carries himself like a 30-year-old:
De Ligt is only 19 years old and has a charisma and self-confidence like a 30-year-old. He gets on really well in interviews, seems very clear in the head, down to earth and grown up. This is a player who does not hang his head after mistakes and keeps going. He is already a great role model for many talents in the Netherlands.
Hopefully de Ligt takes van der Vaart’s advice and chooses Bayern over Barcelona this summer. At this point, no offers have been accepted by Ajax, so there’s still hope for Bayern. A lot can happen between now and the summer transfer window and Bayern’s hierarchy have already promised a summer of big signings, so de Ligt could, and should, be one of the incoming players.