It seems likely that we will either go after Matthijs De Ligt or Jamaal Lascelles as Toby Alderweireld’s replacement this summer.
The Evening Standard has reported that Newcastle will demand £45m for their captain while a similar number was quoted for the Ajax centre-back in recent weeks, so who should we sign?
The Case For Lascelles
The 24-year-old has been captain of his club for the last two years despite his relatively young age. He has learned a great deal under the tutelage of Rafa Benitez who took him under his wing when he was appointed Magpies boss back in March 2016.
He was an integral part of the Newcastle side that was promoted from the Championship with the joint best defensive record in the league. The defender again was a key part as the North East club finished in the top ten in their first season back in the top flight with the seventh-best defence.
His experience of English football and the fact he is a good ten years ahead of him at the top level means he is highly valued by Premier League sides with Chelsea and Everton also pursuing him.
The Case For De Ligt
The youngster has taken to senior football like a duck to water. He was drafted into the first team by Peter Bosz mid-way through the 2016/17 season and established himself as a regular starter almost immediately.
The Dutchman has already played a final in a high profile European competition when Ajax lost to Manchester United in the Europa League. Now 18 years of age, he has now had a full season of regular football at the Eredivisie side where he played 39 times in all competitions last campaign.
Despite only being a teenager, he has now started for the Netherlands in their last five internationals, and he is being tracked by the likes of Barcelona and other high profile clubs.
In my opinion, De Ligt likely has the higher ceiling in terms of potential, and the fact that he already has struck up a partnership with Davinson Sanchez makes him a very good fit. He would be a much a higher risk than Lascelles but the rewards are also greater.