Sunday, August 25, 2019

Matthijs De Ligt 'Didn't Expect' To Be Benched In Juventus' First Game


Matthijs de Ligt 'didn't expect' to be on the bench for Juventus' opening Serie A game of the season against Parma last night.

Juventus ended up winning the game 1-0 thanks to a Giorgio Chiellini strike but a big talking point was the strength of their bench.

Young Dutch defender de Ligt was one of those names on the sidelines.

Following the game, he discussed his omission from the starting line up.

Per Football Italia, the former Ajax captain explained:

"Naturally, I would've preferred to play and I didn't get any clues from training, so I didn't expect to be on the bench," de Ligt told reporters.

"Obviously, I respect the decision of the Coach. I must be realistic, as I am still settling in here in Italy.

"The defenders who played, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, were considered for a long time to be the best centre-back partnership in the world.

The Dutch international also explained some of methods new coach Maurizio Sarri wants to use with his Juve defence.

"I have to earn my place throughout the season.

"The first five weeks have been tough on a physical level, but I do notice that I'm getting stronger.

"Defensively, the demands are not that different to what I was accustomed to at Ajax, as the Coach wants us to anticipate the movement."

The centre-back has also said he is taking regular Italian lessons to learn the language.

De Ligt will be hoping to get on the pitch for Juve sooner rather than later following his £67.5 million transfer from Ajax in the summer.

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