• News

Hasselbaink backs ‘quality’ Matthijs de Ligt for Barcelona move

Getty Images

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is certain Matthijs de Ligt is up to the challenge of moving to Barcelona and expects the Netherlands to embark on a new golden era.

Numerous media outlets have tipped De Ligt to follow Ajax and Holland team-mate Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona in the summer. Although the player himself insists no decision has been made, despite the growing speculation.

Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich have all reportedly expressed an interest in the highly-rated De Ligt. However, any final decision will likely have to wait until the end of Holland’s Nations League campaign.

First up for Ronald Koeman’s side will be England tonight in the semi-finals for a spot in Sunday’s final against hosts Portugal.

And former Dutch striker Hasselbaink is feeling optimistic over the national side’s future.

“The Dutch have always been not afraid to put young players in,” the ex-Chelsea star told Goal.

“In that aspect, they have done a really good job and we can finally say that the national team has a really bright future ahead.

“De Jong, De Ligt, [Virgil] Van Dijk, Kenny Tete, [Stefan] De Vrij. The majority of the players are yet to reach their full potential. The best is yet to come and I think they will push England in the Nations League.

“Frenkie de Jong is going to Barcelona. An exceptional talent who is good with the ball and he has a really bright future ahead. He has been fantastic for Ajax this season in the Champions League and domestically.

“De Ligt has already been doing it for a long time. He is the first real quality defender to be at Ajax since Jaap Stam. At the Netherlands, he has Van Dijk alongside him, he looks like he will follow De Jong to Barcelona which would be a good move.”

The Holland and England match will begin at 20:45 (CET) in Guimaraes.

GUIMARAES, PORTUGAL – JUNE 05: Matthijs de Ligt in action during the Netherlands Media Access Session held at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques on June 05, 2019 in Guimaraes, Portugal. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)