Marco van Basten slams Matthijs de Ligt: ‘He hasn’t improved this year’

Dutch football legend Marco van Basten has slammed Matthijs de Ligt. The former AC Milan striker has not been impressed with De Ligt’s latest form and seasonal development for Juventus despite the club securing their ninth consecutive title on Sunday.

“I don’t think he plays well in the last games, I don’t know what that is”, Van Basten said on Ziggo Sport. Asked if his form could be because of the defender’s should injury, he said: “You adapt. My ankle had been bothering me for so long, I got used to it. I don’t know about his shoulder, but I couldn’t do certain things.”

“You don’t shoot freely, for example. In the heat of battle it is sometimes difficult to play with it. I think he is bothered by that, but he has to guide himself well in that. Then he has to say, ‘I play and I take all risks’. Or you shouldn’t be playing. He has to estimate that himself. If you want to play football for a long time, you have to know that it will not cause long-term damage.”

The former Dutch international also thinks De Ligt would have been better off to have played alongside Giorgio Chiellini instead of Leonardo Bonucci. “I don’t think he is much better than he was at Ajax last season. He has had an interesting year for himself. De Ligt was unlucky that he did not have (Giorgio) Chiellini, who is a real team player, beside him, because he is a better trainer. (Leonardo) Bonucci does his own thing, does not organise and does not indicate what De Ligt should do. In my view, Chiellini had done that, he does things for others and is a bit more social.”