Ajax star De Ligt wins Golden Boy award
Coveted Ajax captain and sensation Matthijs de Ligt has been crowned the 2018 Golden Boy as the most promising Under-21 player in Europe.
Linked with LaLiga champions Barcelona and Premier League titleholders Manchester City among others, the 19-year-old centre-back claimed the Tuttosport award after receiving the most votes from an international panel.
De Ligt beat Roma winger Justin Kluivert, Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, AC Milan forward Patrick Cutrone and Real Madrid teenager Vinicius Junior to the honour, won by Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe last year.
Netherlands international De Ligt – under contract until 2021 – has been a revelation since making his debut for boyhood club Ajax in 2016, establishing himself in the heart of the Eredivisie club's defence.
A first international call-up following last year and De Ligt continues to attract interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs, with Barca reportedly at the front of the queue.