What De Ligt would bring to Old Trafford

Lisandro Martinez and Matthijs de Ligt
[Getty Images]

If De Ligt was signed, he would likely replace Raphael Varane as Lisandro Martinez's partner in central defence, with his strength in the air complementing the Argentina centre-back's tenacity.

Despite being slightly shorter than Varane, De Ligt won 2.46 aerial duels per 90 minutes in 2023-24 compared to the Frenchman's 1.68 (as per On the other side, Martinez has won just 1.11 aerial duels per 90 minutes since arriving in Manchester.

Importantly, de Ligt is also comfortable with the ball at his feet. His impressive 93.1% pass accuracy last season topped the Bayern Munich squad and was higher than any player at Old Trafford.

Martinez was close to De Ligt on 92.7%, but no other United defender managed more than a 90% pass accuracy last term, suggesting De Ligt could improve the team's ability to play out from the back.

Captaining Ajax at 19 is no easy feat and there is no doubt De Ligt would be a natural fit in the heart of defence, providing stability and leadership to a United backline that was pushed to breaking point last season.