The Juventus stalwart thinks his new team-mate can help the club reach their goals in Serie A and the Champions League
Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci believes his side have signed ‘the best young player in the world’ in Matthijs de Ligt.
After finally completing his €75 million (£68m/$84m) from Ajax, 19-year-old De Ligt will be expected to deliver straight away as Juventus go in search of a Champions League trophy to compliment their domestic dominance.
Bonucci, 31, established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world during his first spell in Turin, and he believes De Ligt can also reach the very top level.
“Matthijs de Ligt is the best young player in the world right now,” he told JTV.
“This step helps him to grow, and from us there was a warm welcome. Together with [Merih] Demiral and [Daniele] Rugani they are important young players who will help us reach every goal.”
Bonucci returned to Juventus for the 2018-19 season after an unhappy year with AC Milan, finishing sixth in Serie A as Juve won another title.
He had joined Milan amid some excitement but admits that he has not hit the same heights since then that had seen him talked about among the best in the world.
“Juve is my home,” Bonucci said. “I returned to Milan after a year because here I know what I can give and I feel I am in the right place.
“Every year we need to improve and this will be a year in which we will all improve.
“On a personal level I would like to go back to how I was two years ago because in the last two years I could have done better. I want to go back to the standard I set.”
The old dog Bonucci is likely to have to learn some new tricks if he is to reach that level again, as new manager Maurizio Sarri implements his preferred tactics at the club.
He has come up against Sarri teams before when the coach was in charge at Napoli, but Bonucci says he has been impressed by the intelligence of the former Chelsea boss.
“I was struck by the ideas of Sarri, when you see them from outside you get a certain idea but when you are inside you understand the intelligence of a coach who has brought new ideas.
“The new season will be tough, especially in Italy, because Inter have taken one of the best coaches and Napoli continue to grow.
“In Europe we know that the great teams always improve and we will have to do battle with them.”
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