Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has admitted he was surprised to be an unused substitute in the team’s Serie A opener against Parma.
Club legends Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci retained their place in the lineup for the 1-0 win, leaving no place for De Ligt, who is yet to make his official debut following his £67.8m move from Ajax this summer.
Speaking to AD after the game, De Ligt confessed he was surprised not to see his name on the team sheet, but he did accept that it was still early in his Juventus career.
He said: “
“Obviously, I respect the decision of the coach. I must be realistic, as I am still settling in here in Italy.
“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.
“For me, it’s more a case of getting used to everyday things, such as learning the language. I know the important football terms, but I want to improve considerably. I have a course five times per week, so things are going well.”
It was Chiellini’s first-half goal which ultimately proved the difference between the two sides, and the Italian will certainly believe he did enough to earn a place in the next starting lineup, meaning De Ligt could remain on the bench for the visit of Napoli on Saturday.