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Koeman: De Ligt will be the best CB in the world in 2 years and De Jong is special

The former Ajax and Barcelona player did not hide his admiration for his compatriots

Netherlands v France - UEFA Nations League A Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has showered praise on Ajax pair Frenkie De Jong and Matthjis de Ligt in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio, as rumors continue to swirl that FC Barcelona could be in for one or both of them.

“De Ligt and De Jong are special for many reasons. De Ligt is the youngest, 19 years old, and plays already in an important position. He’s captain of Ajax, from the Ajax school, and that is like saying the Barcelona school, because it means he has a lot of technical and tactical quality,” Koeman said.

The manager was particularly keen on De Ligt, whom he predicted would become “the best centerback in the world in two years.”

He praised the 21-year-old De Jong for his adaptability but said he needs to keep getting better: “He can play as a pivot in a midfield three or as an interior. He can and has to improve even more in many things looking ahead, like his final pass, his assists, his shot from outside the box.”

Koeman is considered a Barcelona legend for his performances as a defender in the 1990s and has been linked with becoming Barça manager more than once over the years. He also played for the Eredevisie’s three most successful clubs: Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, and Feyenoord.

Barcelona are understood to be in the race for either or both of the Ajax pair but rumor has it that the team will not succeed in either case.

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