The colourful agent drew comparisons with the Night’s Watch of Game of Thrones as he spoke the 20-year-old’s seemingly endless potential. Mino Raiola has backed Matthijs de Ligt to prove the doubters wrong at Juventus, stating the defender is “like an oil tanker”.
The Dutchman has taken some time to adjust to life in Serie A since moving from Ajax in the summertime, moving for €75 million (£68m/$84m) shortly before his 20th birthday.
Agent Raiola was keen to point out the challenges of carrying such a big step at such a tender age but has no doubts about his fearsome potential for a defender.
“I hear that he’s struggling at Juventus, but I only see that Matthijs is growing.
“This is the first time he’s at a top foreign club with another culture. He was only used to the culture at Ajax.
“Matthijs resembles an oil tanker, you can not expect him to suddenly turn 90 degrees. He goes steadily. But, once he is on course, he can not be stopped.”
De Ligt has played in 17 of Juventus’ 22 matches in Serie A so far this year and scored his second goal for the club in the 3-0 win over Fiorentina on Sunday.
He isn’t the only possible world-beater to have earned Raiola a healthy pay packet in recent months.
The Italian-born representative helped engineer Erling Haaland’s move from Red Bull Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund in December — a move which has up to now brought eight goals in four appearances at a stunning rate of a target every 22 minutes.
Reflecting on the deal, Raiola was in no mood to be small.
“I don’t want to be arrogant, but I believe I created this transfer market,” he said.
“Football has become a show, a kind of entertainment. In the more than 25 years I have been active, I have invented the football market.
“Since then it has become a huge industry, which I have given colour by never keeping my mouth shut and always standing up for my players.”