Didi Hamann states why Man City should beat Liverpool to star

Didi Hamann has urged former club Manchester City to go all out to sign Liverpool and Man Utd target Matthijs de Ligt this summer.

City are in the hunt for a new centre-back after club legend Vincent Kompany announced he would be leaving to join Anderlecht as player-manager this summer.

And Hamann, who made 54 Premier League appearances for City between 2006-09, believes that Holland international is the only player who could fill Kompany’s boots.

He told the Racing Post: “It’s incredible to think that City spent more than £150m on Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte and not one of them has been the player Vincent Kompany is – and he cost around £8m. City have got a huge hole to fill after Kompany’s exit and to my mind there’s only one candidate – Matthijs de Ligt.

“There are those who say he is too young but I don’t buy into that. Sometimes you just come across a freak and that’s what De Ligt is – a 19-year-old who is built like a 25-year-old and plays like a 30-year-old. He has led Ajax into some of football’s cauldrons this season and is an absolute born leader. He is the man who can carry Kompany’s baton forward.

“As I say, Vinny is irreplaceable. I had the pleasure of playing a season with him at Manchester City, his first year in 2008-09 which was also my last. He arrived from Germany having been at Hamburg and I warmed to him straight away and not just because he spoke good German.

“He always had it in his mind that he wanted to be a holding midfielder but I was on at him straight away that because of his attributes – comfortable on the ball, good in the air, built like a beast – that he could become an absolute world-class centre-back. And I wasn’t just saying that because I didn’t fancy any more competition for my position!

“Anyway, I was right because he has turned into one of the great centre-backs and he won’t just be missed for his abilities as a player but also because so many players look up to him. He inspires them.

“Vinny is truly one of the nicest people you could meet in the game. Had he not made it you’d have said it was because he was too nice for this cut-throat game of ours.”


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