Fans have been vociferously vocal about how Matthijs de Ligt moving to Paris Saint-Germain will prove to be a move dictated by only money for the Dutchman. After the defender was linked with moves to Manchester United and Barcelona, he now seems set to move to PSG and play in the Ligue 1 from next season onwards.
Mino Raiola indeed had a role to play in getting the best financial package for his client. He waited and waited, lured everyone into the deal and then made the decision to get his client to join the club that was offering him the best amount of money.
While Raiola does get a lot of criticism for manipulating the media, the PSG move might just prove to be a masterstroke for De Ligt.
Playing in the Ligue 1 heaps less amount on pressure on a player, as compared to playing in the La Liga or in the Premier League. The attention on a player is less and that is the sort of environment that a young player would love to play in. Of course, he would play in the Champions League, but De Ligt would have massive pressure on him if he plays on a regular basis for a club like Barcelona or United. Many players play for these clubs but never develop because could never match the hype that surrounded them.
It isn’t just the hype, it is the burden that comes with expectation that troubles players. De Ligt won’t have that at PSG. We know that he is a once in a generation talent and he will thrive on proving himself in the lesser league, but playing in a squad full of better players than the ones he had at Ajax.
He will have Thiago Silva to look upto at PSG- it can hardly get better than that today. De Ligt is already seen as a long-term successor for the Brazilian and he fits the mould. He is better currently than how good Thiago Silva was at the age of 19.
He will play alongside Marquinhos- it can’t get too much better than that too. The former Roma man is one of the best defenders in the world and De Ligt will learn a lot from them in a low pressure environment too.
More so, Thomas Tuchel is a manager who likes his defenders to play out from the back. De Ligt does just that. He will work on his strength and for a club that has sometimes pressed the reset button too soon, having Tuchel sign a new contract is a positive for De Ligt. He would be the centre of the project that Tuchel intends to build.
What PSG have been lacking over the last three seasons in the Champions League is character and mental resolve. That is what De Ligt brings to the plate. His mental resolve came to the fore in Netherlands’ 2-1 win over England. PSG need that character. De Ligt will give them just that.