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BFW Roundtable: Rate the Matthijs de Ligt signing

The BFW staff weighs in on the transfer of the summer.

Matthijs de Ligt turns and makes a run while tracking the action against DC United on July 20
‘Coach, sorry, I gotta go! I forgot to vote for BFW for their Best Club Podcast nomination today!’ — the REAL reason for De Ligt’s abbreviated appearance versus DC United. Now that’s some team spirit! (Link at the bottom — vote, vote, vote!)
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The signing of the summer is one that few of us saw coming, but maybe should have. Center-back Matthijs de Ligt has long been a Bayern Munich admirer, and now the two parties finally come together after a considerable investment from the German Rekordmeister. How do we feel about the biggest move of the transfer window?

We polled the BFW staff to get a selection of opinions:


It’s done lads, it’s finally done. After loads of teasing and torturing, De Ligt is here.

Let’s face it, our backline isn’t the greatest, especially after losing Süle. But we replaced one chonky boy with another, and we couldn’t have done better.

De Ligt is possibly one of the best center-backs right now (seeing as Paris Saint-Germain’s Sergio Ramos has fallen off) and Bayern did very well to sign him. He’s strong, fast, and great with the ball, what more could we need? And, as we’ve seen from the friendly against DC United, he can score when he wants to. Wow. Absolutely Perfect.

Bayern lacked a leader in the backline, someone who can take the defenders to a whole new level. De Ligt is exactly that person. We lost a great defender in Süle (one of my all time top center-backs) and it was always going to be tough to replace him. Because to be honest, there was only one person for the job: Matthijs de Ligt. So on a scale of 0-10? For me, it’s a 10, easy.

Frank Mo

I have some serious concerns about the signing of Matthjis de Ligt.

For one, I think he’s overpriced. He could cost up to 77 million and will command the largest wage a center-back has ever earned at Bayern Munich, ~18 million per year. That means he will have cost Bayern ~167 million after his five year contract runs out. Second, he received his massive wages around the time Bayern started negotiations with Hernandez and Pavard for new contracts. They are going to be raising their wage demands a lot because of De Ligt’s wages and that will likely have the knock-on effect Sane’s wages had on Gnabry and Coman.

Third, I don’t think adding an error-prone 22-year-old will solve Bayern’s defensive problems in the short term. I don’t think getting someone so young and who has made a few too many silly mistakes at Juventus is what Bayern needs right now. I don’t hate the transfer, but I am a lot more cautious about the De Ligt signing than others are. Hopefully, my worries won’t be realized.


The De Ligt signing has old-school Bayern Munich written all over it. Bizzare rumours out of nowhere, then suddenly it’s very likely that the move is going to happen, then bam, he’s here.

I have to say I really enjoyed this move and the hype behind it. Bayern have wanted Matthijs since the 18/19 season and pounced on their second chance.

The only problem with this transfer is that in the intervening years Bayern had gone ahead and signed Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano and Tanguy Nianzou. More than one defender may leave, with Pavard seeming likeliest. Pavard has had his downsides but I’ve always felt he could deliver strong performances with a good setup around him and would wish for him to stay.

Meanwhile, De Ligt has always been a world class talent, but hasn’t yet showed his promise at Juve. Nevertheless, he is still very young and Bayern will be a great place for him to unlock his full potential with Julian Nagelsmann.


This signing is certainly a blockbuster one, and the board clearly wanted to make a statement. De Ligt is already an established CB at the super young age of 22. He was a constant fixture in the starting lineup at Ajax, and even captained them at the age of 19, which is incredible.

He’s certainly a top defender, and can form an outstanding partnership with Lucas in the heart of defense. Defensive prowess aside, I think an area where he could significantly improve us is in set-piece situations. He’s great in the air and has a powerful shot, so it would be nice to have someone not named Lewandowski head in those crosses for a change.

However, I believe that the transfer fee + add-ons (possibly going up to 80m) is way too high. I would put his worth at Juventus at around 50m, so it feels like we’ve certainly overspent. Also, he’s going to cost us around 18m a season in wages, which is massive. Of course, he might well become the world’s best RCB and make that spot his for years to come, but right now, he has A LOT to do to justify that price tag.


First: Bayern just saw arguably their best player elect to transfer to Barcelona. One of our key defenders decided to move to BVB. A signing like De Ligt is — at least in part — meant to be a statement to show that we still have “pull” and are still seen as a top destination club.

Second: For me, De Ligt is also part of a big-picture squad realignment. While we may not be able to replace all of Lewandowski’s goals in one player, perhaps we can 1) spread around the scoring a bit more and 2) shore things up at the back and concede less, thereby potentially needing to score less in the first place. De Ligt’s signing would (hopefully) aid in accomplishing the latter.

Third: Many have raved about De Ligt’s leadership qualities. He captained Ajax at age 19, and donned the armband for the Netherlands at age 22. The club has been searching for a defensive leader for some time, and De Ligt also seems to identify well with the club’s values and “personality.”


I’ve watched football for nearly eight years now, but it was not until 2018/19 that I truly awakened as somebody who analyses the game and watches multiple leagues. This coincided with the rise of a legendary Ajax team and their Champions League semi-finals run.

While I fell in love with many players from that 18/19 Ajax team, I was often disappointed by how other clubs subsequently treated them. The one that really broke my heart was Juventus and their handling of De Ligt.

I knew already that Bayern Munich could not afford him, but what hurt was watching him get stifled under the Juventus brand of football: conservative and static, lacking dynamism especially in defense.

Matthijs de Ligt is one of the first centre-backs I can say I loved to watch, and his arrival at Bayern Munich is a dream come true for me. It is my favourite transfer of all time (that I’ve been present for when it happened). He is destined for greatness and the fact he has chosen to spend what will most likely be his prime years at Bayern Munich fills me with excitement.

Well, there you have it! A spectrum of reactions ranging from worried to positively ebullient. As for me, count me as on the optimistic side — how could they turn down a top, top young talent who already has a passion for the club? — with a heap of ‘my, that’s a big transfer spend’ on the side.

But now let’s hear from you. We’ve been through the topic, but if you had to assign a number from 1 (worst) - 10 (best), what would it be?

And if you’ve got another minute...

Vote for BFW for Best Club Podcast! If you enjoy reading or listening to us here at Bavarian Football Works, we’d really appreciate if you could drop a vote for us. Our hard-working podcasting team got nominated for an award, but so did a number of other podcasts with big social followings. Now, others may have the backing of The Athletic, but we’ve got you — the biggest and best English-language Bayern community on Earth.

We’ve exchanged leads a couple times with one of the big Athletic podcasts, and they have the ability to rain down votes at the drop of a hat. So it’s far from over — let’s vote like we’re behind.

Polls close midnight ET July 31st and we’ll need every bit of enthusiasm. Thank you!!

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