De Ligt departure would be 'great loss' to Juventus, says Barzagli

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Matthijs de Ligt leaving Juventus would be a "great loss" for Massimiliano Allegri's side, according to former Bianconeri defender Andrea Barzagli.

Barzagli formed a formidable centre-back trio with Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci during his time in Turin, with the latter pair still playing for Juve when De Ligt arrived for €85.5million from Ajax in 2019.

The Netherlands international has fallen short of expectations during his first three years, leading to transfer speculation with Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich apparently interested.

De Ligt played more minutes (2,675) than any other Juve outfield player in the 2021-22 Serie A season as Allegri's side finished fourth after a poor start to the campaign.

While questions remain over the leadership qualities of De Ligt, who Juve chief executive Maurizio Arrivabene says wants to leave, Barzagli believes the centre-back would be missed at the Allianz Stadium.

Juventus with and without De Ligt in Serie A
Juventus with and without De Ligt in Serie A

"Matthijs did not show his maximum potential despite the excellent championship last year, in which he began to take responsibility for leading the defence and the team," Barzagli told Tuttosport.

"De Ligt arrived at Juventus when he was young and with the pressure of having been paid a lot, with two great defenders in front of him like Chiellini and Bonucci.

"It is not easy when you get paid like that and there are expectations. It is difficult to find continuity and have the right confidence with two monsters like that in front.

"If he were to leave, it would be a great loss for Juventus and also for the Italian championship."

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