Despite featuring in his first season in a top-flight league like Serie A, the 21-year-old Matthijs de Ligt played a key role in the victory of the 2019/20 Scudetto.
The Dutch centre-back was undoubtedly one of Juventus’s best defender last season and his absence, due to the shoulder injury which had limited him in the last matches under Maurizio Sarri, made the Bianconeri more fragile and likely to concede shots to the opponents.
Now that Andrea Pirlo can finally rely on de Ligt, Juventus’s defence has become more solid and Bonucci and Danilo are freer to play the ball and move forward while the team attacks.
The outstanding stats of de Ligt against Dynamo Kyiv, collected by Squawka, are proof of his essential contribution:
Matthijs de Ligt’s game by numbers vs. Dynamo Kyiv:
100% duels won
100% aerial duels won
91 touches (most)
5 total duels contested
4 tackles (most)
4 clearances (joint-most)
3 interceptions (most)
Defensive masterclass. pic.twitter.com/kazBXXszsq
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 2, 2020
De Ligt has been the best player on the pitch for tackles, clearances and interceptions; a real wall, but also a defender able to play the ball, as the 91 balls played state.
If we want to nitpick, the Dutch defender made only one mistake, which could have lead to Dynamo Kyiv scoring an equaliser in the first half, he missed a headed clearance which led Dynamo’s striker to get a shot off from inside the box.
Luckily, Wojciech Szczesny quickly closed down the opponent, it’s just a detail, but working on details will be the key for de Ligt to become Europe’s best defender.
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