Arsenal are planning a major revamp of their defence this summer and will hope to make Ajax youngster Matthijs de Ligt the first piece of the jigsaw.
The Mirror reports that Arsenal scouts were in Amsterdam last week to watch de Ligt play for the Netherlands against England in a game that the Dutch lost 1-0.
He was much more impressive in the Netherlands’ other friendly over the international break, in which he provided two assists and kept a clean sheet for Ronald Koeman’s side in a 3-0 win over Portugal.
Matthijs De Ligt vs England (H)
8 duels won
2 chances created
Regular performance for the best U19 CB in the world. pic.twitter.com/iEYb6mLj2S
— Yamoshi (@BalICarrier) March 23, 2018
Although he is only 18 years old, de Ligt has already played over 50 times for Ajax, having been associated with the club since he was 9 years old.
He made his senior debut in September 2016 against Willem II and scored after 25 minutes, becoming the youngest player to score for Ajax since Clarence Seedorf.
He went on to make his Eredivisie and Europa League debuts in November of the same year and scored his first league goal for Ajax against Heracles in February 2017.
Still 18 years of age, Barca scouts watching him tonight & in his big test (I personally didn’t think he needed one), he just ate Cristiano Ronaldo alive.
Matthijs De Ligt. Pique’s successor & a future club captain. pic.twitter.com/pwSZtjc27n
— Laportista (@MoRosement) March 26, 2018
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His performances during the 2016-17 campaign earned him a first call up to the national side, but his international career did not get off to a good start. He made his debut in a World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia, but was substituted off at half time with the Dutch 2-0 down.
On his second appearance he was sent off in a friendly win over Morocco in May 2017 and did not appear for the Netherlands again until November.
But his form for Ajax this season has earned him a recall, and it appears that a move to the Emirates this summer may be on the cards, with Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker expected to leave at the end of the season.