By 90Min
May 30, 2019

It's fair to say that Ajax have had a terrific season. They achieved the impossible with their progression to the Champions League semi-finals, beating holders Real Madrid and Juventus along the way, whilst also regaining the Eredivisie title, all with a team full of exciting young players bursting with talent.

It's no surprise that one of these star performers, centre-back and captain Matthijs de Ligt is the subject of interest from the biggest clubs in Europe. The 19-year-old has been sensational at the heart of Ajax's defence, and has at times appeared to be playing with the maturity of a 30-year-old veteran. 

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Such have been his performances that the young Dutchman has the cream of the crop to chose from when it comes to potential suitors. At the top of the pile are Barcelona, who have also acquired the signature of De Ligt's Ajax and Netherlands teammate Frenkie de Jong for this summer, with the Spanish giants clearly wanting to reunite the pair and bring Ajax's success to La Liga. 

However, there is a spanner in the works in the shape of Manchester United, who are looking to begin rebuilding their squad this summer, with defence being an area of particular interest.

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But why would De Ligt choose the Premier League side, with a history of success but currently playing the role of fallen giants over a Barcelona side, led by the mercurial Lionel Messi and challenging for trophies every year?

Moving to Manchester instead of sunny Barcelona is a bit of a no-brainer for me, but for all you skeptics out there, here are six reasons why De Ligt should choose Old Trafford over the Camp Nou.


United Legend Phil Jones

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Enough said! I can't think of a greater incentive than the chance to play alongside United legend Phil Jones at the heart of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's defence. Yes, Barcelona boast the likes of Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti, both World Cup winners, but neither of those players come close to Jones in terms of facial expressions and the ability to be both world class and awful in the same game. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity that De Ligt would be a fool to miss.


It's Not a Holiday

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Spain's weather is lovely if you're looking for a weekend break or a summer holiday. But imagine playing football in 30+ degree heat for most of the season. Plus, you get the luxury of a mid-season break, which means you get to play football over Christmas in the Premier League, and who wouldn't want to do that! Also, Manchester's climate is fairly similar to Amsterdam's so De Ligt won't need to spend so long acclimatising.


Who Doesn't Like a Challenge?

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What's more impressive, winning the league with a team spearheaded by the magnificent Lionel Messi, or dragging a United team kicking and screaming to an FA Cup final that you win on penalties against a Championship side? The answer is obvious and De Ligt would have the opportunity to write himself into United folklore, whereas at Barcelona he runs the risk of disappearing in the shadow of the Argentinian magician. 


Roy Keane

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Imagine putting in a solid performance in a game against Brighton, walking off the pitch and turning on the TV to see former United captain Roy Keane berating your performance as you didn't seem to have the desire. If that doesn't spur you on to perform week in week out, then maybe football isn't the career choice for you.


The Chance to Pick Your Own Manager

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At United, if you and your teammates don't like your current manager, it seems fairly simple to get rid of them. All it takes is for you to turn in a few bad performances, wave goodbye as the boss leaves via the revolving door and welcome the new manager into the ring. De Ligt could be in charge of who manages the team and could ensure he gets in the good books and be selected for every game.


There's Nothing to Lose

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It's fair to say that United are not the team they were under Sir Alex Ferguson. They have fallen somewhat down the Premier League pecking order and a move to the Red Devils may give De Ligt the chance to prove what a world class talent he is. Improving United and returning them to their glory days would be a brilliant achievement and may be remembered longer than anything he might achieve with Barcelona

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