Bayern Munich has been consistently adding a new center-back to the squad in the last four summer transfer windows. The German Champions needed a new defender this summer after Niklas Sule decided against signing a new deal. Sule eventually decided to leave Bayern Munich on a free transfer at the end of June to join Borussia Dortmund.
Julian Nagelsmann was reportedly keen on signing a center-back that would become the leader of the defender. The Bavarian club eventually decided to make a move for long-term target Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus. Die Roten ended up paying a fee close to €80 million for the Dutch defender, including add-ons.
Bayern had previously tried to sign de Ligt in 2019 when he was leaving Ajax. However, a deal was not worked out, and he ended up joining Juventus. Things changed this summer as de Ligt was looking to leave Turin and Die Roten needed a defender to replace Sule.
Die Roten accelerated talks with the Italian club midway through July, and an agreement was reached quickly. Chelsea was initially leading the race for de Ligt, but Die Roten intervened to clinch the deal. The Dutch international joined his new teammates in the USA for the pre-season tour and featured in both pre-season friendly games. Ahead of his competitive debut this weekend, de Ligt sat down with ESPN to reveal the reasons behind joining Die Roten. The Dutch international insisted that Die Roten plays in a style that suits his strengths.
“First of all the club. The board showed me they really wanted me, that says a lot because it’s important for me. The club suits me: attacking football, hard training, high intensity. That’s what I’m looking for.”
The Dutch international will slot straight into the starting lineup at Die Roten. He is likely to pair up with one of Dayot Upamecano and Lucas Hernandez in the heart of the defense. Nagelsmann may also use all of them as a back three in a few games next season.
Matthijs de Ligt will enjoy a lot of possession at Die Roten, allowing him to show his expansive passing range. The defensive line will also be much higher than the one he played with at Juventus. There will be a lot of freedom for de Ligt on the ball, but he will have to defend astutely when teams would look to counter-attack.
The Dutch defender has experience of leading Ajax in the big Champions League games at the age of 19. His leadership skills will be further polished in Juventus after playing with the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Georgio Chiellini. At the age of 22, he has managed to get alot of game time at the top level. The Bavarian faithful should be pretty excited to have de Ligt for a long time as the core part of the squad.
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Matthijs de Ligt will be looking to start his time at Bayern with a trophy when they face RB Leipzig in DFL Supercup on Saturday. He is likely to get a start on his competitive debut with Lucas Hernandez in the heart of the defense.