Matthijs de Ligt and Harry Maguire are two names who wouldn’t often be involved in the same discussion.
The two centre-backs are at different stages of their careers, yet they have more in common than meets the eye.
The Ajax centre-back is arguably the hottest prospect in world football after so nearly leading the Eredivisie giants to what would’ve been their first Champions League final since 1996.
Maguire, on the other hand, has shone for a Leicester City team that were satisfied to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season.
As such, both players will likely move on from their current clubs this summer.
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De Ligt is poised to spark a £75 million bidding war among several top European clubs, while Maguire could fetch a record fee for a British defender to tempt Brendan Rodgers into selling.
According to the Sun, Leicester are expected to demand £60 million after Manchester City paid upwards of £50 million to land Kyle Walker and John Stones.
Some will scoff at the idea of Maguire being worth anything close to what De Ligt is - but not everyone.
Jermaine Jenas rates the Yorkshireman more highly than the Dutch youngster, so much so that he’s implored the reigning English champions to reconsider their transfer priorities.
Speaking of De Ligt on BBC 5 Live, the former Tottenham midfielder said: “I think he’s a top player and he’s a prospect. He’s 19-years-old and he’s got obvious leadership qualities that his players respect.
“But I actually think Harry Maguire is a better player at the minute. Weirdly enough, I just think that if I was Manchester City, I would go for Harry Maguire over De Ligt right now - I really would.
“I think he’s a top player, De Ligt. But I just think when I watch Harry Maguire - especially against Manchester City the other day when he’s coming out with the ball at his feet and he’s taking people on - I don’t really see what he does that Harry Maguire can’t do - apart from the age difference. That’s it.”
It’s a bold statement to make about one of the most prodigious talents football has seen in quite some time.
With all due respect to Maguire, the 26-year-old cannot be compared with a player who can do little more to demonstrate his potential to become one of the all-time greats.
Whoever signs De Ligt will be getting a player capable of setting the benchmark for world-class defenders of the future.
But for the clubs who miss out, Maguire would make for an ideal alternative.News Now - Sport News