Rafael van der Vaart has said in-demand Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt should join Bayern Munich this summer.
The Netherlands international is reportedly a target for some of the world’s top sides including Bayern, Barcelona and Manchester City, and Van der Vaart claims De Ligt would be a perfect fit for the German champions.
Speaking to Sport1, the former Ajax, Real Madrid and Tottenham midfielder said: “Bayern must get De Ligt, he is absolutely a player for Munich.
“Bayern play in central defence with Niklas Sule, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, but it is not clear if Hummels and Boateng will remain. So, there would be room for De Ligt. The boy is a great talent, has a lot of quality.”
Van der Vaart is something of an expert on Dutchmen playing in the Bundesliga, having spent six years of his career with German side Hamburg. Like De Ligt, he also came through Ajax’s youth system, and played over 150 games for the club.
The 36-year-old has been hugely impressed with De Ligt’s performances and believes he is showing maturity far beyond his years.
He added: “De Ligt is only 19 years old and has a charisma and self-confidence like a 30-year-old. He gets on really well in interviews, seems very clear in the head, down to earth and grown up.
“This is a player who does not hang his head after mistakes and keeps going. He is already a great role model for many talents in the Netherlands.”
It’s not just De Ligt who has impressed Van der Vaart, but also his centre-back colleague for the national side, Virgil van Dijk.
“He has everything to be the best in the world. He is tall, has charisma and is an absolute leader at Liverpool,” said Van der Vaart. “He is outstanding. He has everything and is well on the way to becoming the best centre-back in the world.”
Van der Vaart was speaking after the Netherlands’ 3-2 defeat to Germany on Sunday night, a game in which the Dutch came from two goals behind only to lose.
“Before the game, of course, we thought again that we will win the game against the Germans. Up front they have enormous quality. They are brutally strong and they showed that again in the first half against Oranje. That was incredible.
“In the second half, however, you have seen what the Germans still lack a world-class team. On the defensive side, there are extreme weaknesses. Then you realise that they have not been in the formation for so long.”