Joining a new team is never easy, especially if you have to adapt to a whole new country, its culture, language, and their domestic tournament.
But, whenever a team makes a huge investment like the one Juventus did by signing Matthijs de Ligt, you’d expect him to be a starter right out of the gate.
That’s why de Ligt, Juventus’ latest signing, admitted being kind of surprised by the fact that he was left out of the team’s starting XI to face Parma for the Serie A opener:
“I didn’t expect to be benched, but I respect the decision. Of course, I would have preferred to play. I couldn’t read this based on the training sessions, in that sense I didn’t see this coming, but obviously, I respect the decision of the coach. I’m also realistic, I’m still getting used to being here in Italy. The duo that played today, Chiellini and Bonucci, were seen as the best defensive pairing in the world. It’s not like you’re just going to play instead of them in the opening match. I’ll have to conquer them to earn my place in the team this season,” de Ligt told the media following the game, as quoted by The Mirror.
Moreover, the former Ajax standout acknowledged the fact that he’s still working to make the adjustment to the Italian ways, but claimed that Maurizio Sarri didn’t ask him to do things he wasn’t used to doing at his former team:
“Defensively, the demands are not that different from what I was accustomed to at Ajax, as the Coach wants us to anticipate the movement. I am still getting to grips with the language and I know some football terms, but I want to improve my Italian a great deal. I’m attending a course five times a week and that is going well,” the center-back concluded.
Juventus made a big investment in de Ligt as they continue to reinforce their squad to compete for the UEFA Champions League trophy, the team’s main goal for the season.