Football Manager stories: Can Matthijs de Ligt transform Liverpool into domestic titans?

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Matthijs De Ligt Liverpool transfer news

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – DECEMBER 12: Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Muenchen battles for the ball with Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Ajax and FC Bayern Munich at Johan Cruyff Arena on December 12, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Welcome to this first addition of Football Manager stories, in which we look five years into the future with Matthijs de Ligt at Liverpool.

Now, in the real world this would be an amazing deal for the Reds to get over the line. In my virtual one, it was easy. Using the in-game editor, I moved de Ligt to Anfield for £10 million, promptly resigned as manager and re-appointed Jurgen Klopp.

This let me watch the progress of the club and starlet without having to meddle in its affairs. I did this because I thought it would give an as-close-to-real-life simulation as possible.

And because I couldn’t control anything, this would also allow de Ligt to be developed in the most natural way possible.

So without too much blabbering on, scroll down and click through the slides below to see how player and club did with five years in each other’s company!

Matthijs de Ligt Liverpool

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – FEBRUARY 13: Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax looks dejected after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Ajax and Real Madrid at Johan Cruyff Arena on February 13, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Season one

The main shock here was that Liverpool signed Shkodran Mustafi from Arsenal, essentially giving Jurgen Klopp six central defenders to chose from. The squad now contained Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, de Ligt, Mustafi and Joe Gomez – who all had to fight it out for game time.

Also, Simon Mignolet remained first choice goalkeeper ahead of Alisson – but whatever, it kinda worked as the Reds finished the season in second place and actually had a stormer in the cup competitions as they won the Champions League!

Matthijs-de-Ligt-season-one-squad-endLiverpool played out an all English final as they beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 thanks to Sadio Mane scoring in the sixth minute and a Danny Rose own goal. Mustafi started the game at right-back, Lovren at centre back and de Ligt made the bench but wasn’t required. And if you can work out how that formation ends up in a massive final victory, you’re a better person than me.

De Ligt managed to get a few games under his belt in his debut Merseyside campaign – but a few of the other transfers looked a bit weird and left the squad unbalanced, but that hardly mattered as Klopp lifted the ultimate prize!


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