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'4' real: Alvarez gets De Ligt's old Ajax number

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Mexican international Edson Alvarez will inherit the No. 4 shirt worn by Matthijs de Ligt at new club Ajax, even though the Dutch giants have stressed the 21-year-old isn't a like-for-like replacement.

Alvarez was announced as a new signing at Ajax on Friday and was presented in Amsterdam on Monday, after signing a five-year deal with the club.

"Since being a child I dreamt about playing for a great team in Europe and my dream is here," said Alvarez, in English, in a video on Ajax TV. "I want to play as soon as possible ... I know this is the best team in the Netherlands and maybe in the world. I'm very excited to wear this shirt and it's now my life. Thank you."

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Center-back De Ligt left Ajax for Juventus last week, vacating the No. 4 shirt that Alvarez will now take over, although Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars was quoted last week as saying that bringing in the Mexican "is not related to Matthijs de Ligt leaving."

Alvarez featured for Mexico at right-back at the last World Cup, but can play center-back and has played mainly in central midfield for Club America and El Tri in 2019.

De Ligt was an integral part of Ajax winning the Eredivisie title, the Dutch Cup and reaching the semifinals of the Champions League last season.