18 July 2019
Juventus Football Club announces the official signing of Matthijs de Ligt from AFC Ajax, having penned in contact with the Italian champions until 2024.
Here is the official statement:
AGREEMENT WITH AJAX FOR THE DEFINITIVE ACQUISITION OF THE PLAYER MATTHIJS DE LIGT
Turin, 18 July 2019 - Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that the agreement with Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax NV for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Matthijs de Ligt has been reached for a consideration of € 75 million, payable in five financial years, and additional costs of € 10,5 million.
Juventus and the player have signed a 5-year contract of employment until 30 June 2024.
It's the news all Bianconeri fans have been waiting to hear all summer: Matthijs de Ligt is officially a Juventus player!
Born in Liederdorp, Netherlands on 12 August 1999, de Ligt joined Ajax’s iconic youth academy at the age of nine. Throughout his years in the academy, he showed tremendous potential and was soon granted his first team debut in September 2017 in a cup game against Willem II.
He immediately made his mark when he scored off a corner to become the second youngest goalscorer at the club after Clarence Seedorf. A month later, he was promoted to the senior squad where he quickly established himself as a natural talent, featuring on 11 occasions in his debut campaign. De Ligt then broke another record, when he became the youngest player ever (17 years and 285 days old) to play in a major European final: the Europa League final against Manchester United on 24 May 2017.
In March 2018, following an injury to Joel Veltman, De Ligt was handed the captain’s armband at the club, making him the youngster ever player to pull on the armband for de Godenzonen. In that campaign, he started in all 31 league matches, and featured for Ajax on 37 occasions across all competitions, scoring three goals in the process. His ability to make clean tackles (he recovered the third most balls – 73 – in the 2018/19 Champions League campaign), his strength, speed and accuracy, were all key factors in him receiving the Golden Boy Award in 2018, along with his leadership skills, which saw him garner much respect from his fellow teammates and colleagues.
Sturdy on the ground and lethal in the air, de Ligt boasts a winning combination that is necessary in that of being a modern defender. His aerial strength is not only useful when it comes to clearing chances away in the box, but one that makes him a threat to the opposition. In fact, only Cristiano Ronaldo (four) scored more headed goals than the 29-year-old in the 2018/19 Champions League campaign, while he is also the youngest defender to have ever scored in the competition.
On the international stage, de Ligt made his debut for the Dutch national team against Bulgaria (2-0 away defeat) in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match, despite only having made two starts for Ajax at the time. Since then, he has gone on to represent his country on 17 occasions, scoring two goals.
The centre-back will become the fifth player from the Netherlands to pull on the Juventus jersey, following Ouasim Bouy, Eljero Elia, Edwin van der Sar, and of course, the iconic Edgar Davids.
De Ligt is Bianconero. Welkom, Matthijs!