Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has insisted he is not affected by criticism aimed at him on social media, after he sat out the entirety of his side’s first game of the season.
The 20-year-old centre back joined the Italian giants this summer in a £67.5m deal from Ajax amid a frenzy of transfer activity by La Vecchia Signora.
However, the youngster was an unused substitute during Juve’s opening win over Parma last week, which prompted some bizarre criticism on social media.
However, the Dutchman is relaxed about his current position in the Juventus first team as he looks to prove his worth and adapt to new manager Maurizio Sarri’s demanding style of play.
In a candid interview about his progress in Italy, De Ligt told De Telegraf: “The criticism that comes at you via social media if you do not play one match does not affect me, but I do read it. And to be honest, it surprises me. My reserve role just fits into the process of a young boy going to a top European club.”
He added: “Before I came here, I had an extensive conversation with the coach (Sarri), in which he indicated that he not only wanted me, but that the first month of playing and training would be a big change for me.
“That is, according to him, for every defender who works with him. That is why I am not worried about my reserve role against Parma. I notice that things are getting better every day, that I am becoming fitter and stronger.”
Following veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini’s knee injury, De Ligt will be expected to feature a lot more in the coming weeks for his new club. Juventus face their first big test of the season on Saturday with a home tie against Napoli, with their new star defender likely to play his first minutes of the campaign.