Dutch pundit and former player Willem van Hanegem claims Inter defender Stefan de Vrij is ‘clearly superior’ to Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt.
While De Vrij is considerably older at 29, it means he also has far more experience both of football in general and of Serie A, having joined Lazio in 2014 and Inter in 2018.
De Ligt is just 21, but Juventus paid €85m to sign him from Ajax in the summer of 2019.
Former Dutch international and current pundit Van Hanegem wrote in his column for newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that De Vrij ought to be the first-choice partner for Virgil van Dijk.
“De Vrij is simply the best defender in Serie A. I have found him to be clearly superior to De Ligt for a long time,” he wrote.
“De Vrij is going to take the Serie A title, but here people just want to talk about Virgil van Dijk. De Vrij really has become one of the best defenders in the world. It just seems that many people don’t want to see it.”
Van Hanegem also noted that De Vrij is “very modest on the field, he plays completely in the interest of the team, but outside of that, he could do with patting himself on the back a little more.”