Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-finals has been a shock to many but when considering the talent in the Dutch side it should not be. Frenkie De Jong and Donny van de Beek look like two of the world’s best young midfielders, David Neres is a frightening wide talent whilst Andre Onana in goal should be considered one of the best keepers of his age in Europe.
Then there is Matthijs De Ligt. The teenage captain has already found himself compared to legendary players such as Franz Beckenbauer and Ronald Koeman. Rightly so. His talent is comparable and the world’s best clubs are now queueing up to sign him.
Which, unfortunately, can rule Everton out of the race.
Because a little under a year ago the Toffees were reportedly serious about their interest in the player.
As reported by the Telegraph, the Toffees wanted the player, who they valued at £50 million. Director of football Marcel Brands’ good relationship with De Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola gave the rumour extra credence and De Ligt’s talents were not so well known at the time.
Now, 10 months down the line, Everton have absolutely zero chance of signing the player. He is expected to leave this summer and AS recently reported he will cost well in excess of €60 (£52m) million, with €70 million (£60.1m) mentioned as possible.
With Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Manchester United all likely to be lurking, Everton’s chances of signing De Ligt are dead and buried.
But it is still positive to see a player of this standard was on the shortlist at some point at Goodison. Perhaps they can get hold of the next similar talent before the world knows of his brilliance.