‘Hello Bianconeri, this is Matthijs, I’m really happy to be here’ beamed de Ligt, as he stepped off the private jet to take him to Turin airport late last night.
A situation that is hard to imagine 2 years ago. The sought-after defender in world football, the joint-most sort after youngster along with de Jong (who joined Barca in January) just signed for a Serie A club.
For years the league was considered slow, a retirement home, corrupt and way past its best of the sparkling 80s and 90s. Some of this unfair, the latter probably true bu the league was unfairly overlooking by Premier League fans and those who followed the Spanish big two.
It is easy to underplay the effect the Ronaldo signing has had on Juventus and even the league. The best players are attracted to other top players, it makes the league better quality and more competitive. It is hard to remember a Serie A club trumped all opposition to secure the signature of a player chased by almost all of the European elite.
Pato when he arrived from Sao Paulo? Adriano? The time Zlatan snubbed Arsenal for Juve? When Zidane joined Juve from Bordeaux all the way back in 1999?
In summers gone by when the likes of Bale exploded on the scene, or Eden Hazard, back in the early 2010s, these players would never realistically have gone to Italy, it just didn’t happen.
Although you could say Juve attracting the likes of Ronaldo, Ramsey, Rabiot and de Ligt is bad for the league as a sceptical, the knock-on effect is detrimental.
Inter seem to have finally woken up, the appointment of Premier League winner Antonio Conte cannot be underestimated. Diego Godin arrived on a free, for years the lynchpin of an ever so solid Atletico defence with years of Champions League experience.
Now the club has been linked with world-class striker, Romelu Lukaku, one of the few players to score more Premier League goals than Edin hazard since Hazard made his Chelsea debut.
Napoli are also close to the signing of James Rodrigues from Real Madrid. The stat of the 2014 World Cup who could the eye of the world and worked so well with Carlo Ancelotti, twice.
The club might yet be piped at the death by Atletico as they would prefer a loan deal for the player but the fact James is interested says it all. The club has however managed to keep a hold of Koulibaly amits Premier League internet and add Manolas to support him in defence.
This Serie A campaign might just be one of the most exciting in years and better still, there are signs that it is only going to get better.
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