Matthijs de Ligt, one of if not the hottest young prospect out there in world football, appeared destined to join national team-mate and close friend Frenkie De Jong at Barcelona. How the times have changed.
According to the latest reports, the highly sought-after Dutchman has now ruled out a move to Camp Nou. If true, this will come as a huge blow for the Spanish giant as defensive frailties have plagued their squad for quite some time now.
Several European heavyweights are after the 19-year-old Ajax defender, and the Blaugrana was leading the chase. Fast forward to today and it is PSG that have leaped ahead of the Catalan giant as well as Juventus, Liverpool, and Man United.
Many criticized the youngster for leaning towards the Ligue 1 champion, accusing him of favoring money over all else. However, Spanish Alfredo Martinez has given details as to why De Ligt is ready to snub Barcelona.
According to the Onda Cero reporter, it is not the lure of lucrative wages that has him looking elsewhere, but rather the fear of lack of playing time. With Pique, Lenglet, and Umtiti all vying for a spot in the lineup, Martinez states that the teenager feels he would not be a guaranteed starter.
"RULED OUT. De Ligt will NOT sign for Barcelona. The player does not look indisputable at Barcelona. It is not just an economic issue. De Ligt believes that he will grow more in another team"
DESCARTADO. De Ligt NO fichará por el Barcelona. El jugador no se ve indiscutible en el Barcelona. No es solo un tema económico .De Ligt cree que crecerá más en otro equipo— Alfredo Martínez (@Alfremartinezz) June 13, 2019
It's a reasonable fear. At the age of 19, playing time could be the difference between reaching his fullest potential and becoming a wasted talent. Nonetheless, it should be noted that his rumored move to Paris is nothing more than that: rumors.