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We genuinely live in a world where Harry Maguire is set to command a higher transfer fee than Matthijs de Ligt despite it making literally no sense whatsoever.
Yesterday, Juventus confirmed the signing of the Dutchman on a five-year contract for £67.5 million - a figure that looks to be very good value for a 19-year old who looks set to be the best defender in world football for years to come.
Thanks to master negotiator Mino Raiola, the former Ajax captain, now the third most expensive teenager in history, will earn a basic salary of £14.5 million in Turin but it could rise to a whopping £21.7 million per season (£416,000-a-week) should performance-related add-ons be met.
Juventus could end up forking out £176.2 million overall in fees and wages but given his age and potential, it still feels like a much better investment than Maguire, who United are coveting heavily.
There's no denying the 26-year old is a solid Premier League defender and has performed pretty well for England but it's a case of the market for English players being seriously inflated yet again.
2018 Golden Boy winner De Ligt has just captained Ajax to an Eredivisie title win, as well as the semi-finals - where only a last-gasp Lucas Moura goal stopped them from reaching the final after a memorable run in which they beat both Real Madrid and Juventus.
He was integral in Ajax keeping 15 clean sheets in the league, while Maguire's Leicester managed six in 31 games. Granted, the former Sheffield United man was playing in a more competitive league and played less minutes.
De Ligt leads the way in terms of passing, with 2219 passes completed (90% accuracy) to Maguire's 1747 (85.6% accuracy) and also in aerial battles - where it's 129 to 118 in the Dutchman's favour.
The Eredivisie Player of the Year shades it on successful tackles with 33 to 31 across the season, though Maguire has been dribbled past less and has a better duel success overall (72.7% to 62.7%).
Other key stats such as interceptions (both on 37), goals scored (three apiece) and defensive errors leading to goals (one each) see the pair level.
In all truth there isn't that much in it stats-wise but the crucial fact is that De Ligt has much more room to grow in the coming years and at £13 million less than the reported fee Leicester want for Maguire, is a far better signing.
United were heavily linked with a move with De Ligt, leading to some excited fans even making the daft decision to get his name on the back of their shirts, but he will now take the next step of his footballing education in Italy alongside the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.
"I've always been fascinated by the Italian art of defending," De Ligt told Ajax TV, via Football Italia.
"Many of the players I look up to are Italian: Maldini, Baresi, Nesta, Cannavaro, Scirea... I could go on. I fell in love with how Italian clubs defend."
United fans, would you be happy paying such big money for Maguire? Can he solve your defensive problems?
Sound off in the comments.
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