Pundit reveals timescale for defender’s Juventus exit; next club named

Date published: Monday 29th March 2021 2:45 - Neil Foster

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Former Ajax winger Bryan Roy is adamant that young defender Matthijs de Ligt will spend no more than three years at Juventus before moving on.

De Ligt, 21, joined the Italians from Ajax in the summer of 2019. He penned a five-year deal, with Juve paying the Dutch giants €75m million for his services. His move to Turin surprised many, with Barcelona thought to be favourites to sign the defender. The Netherlands ace was also linked with both Manchester clubs before the switch to join the Old Lady.

Progress has been fairly steady with Juve. The youngster struggled to make too much of an impact in his first season. However, he has now found his feet and settled in to his work with the Serie A champions.

Former Nottingham Forest star Roy has been speaking about his compatriot to Tutto Juve (via Sport Witness). Asked whether he thought De Ligt was now among the world’s top three defenders, the 51-year-old was not so sure.

“It’s a difficult question, you have to take into account that there are great defenders like Ramos, Garcia and the aforementioned Chiellini and Bonucci,” he said. “Maybe not among the top three, but certainly among the top five in the world.”

Juve will bow to the inevitable with De Ligt

Juventus are looking for a tenth straight Series A title in 2020-2021. However, they have not had things all their own way and are currently 10 points behind table-topping Inter Milan.

It seems a gap too wide to bridge in the remaining 11 games and they will have to settle for a top-four spot. The Bianconeri are also out of the Champions League, eliminated by Porto on the away-goals rule.

It is likely to be a blip rather than terminal decline for Juve but they are sure to strengthen in the summer. It was hoped that De Ligt would be a player they could build the team round for the next decade.

But Roy does not see that happening and believes he will move elsewhere in the summer of 2022.

“He will make his last year, he will close the three years with the Juventus shirt and then he will go away,” added the former Hertha Berlin wide man. “This is my thought. Where? I don’t know, I believe in one between Barcelona and Manchester City.”

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