Youngster defender Matthijs de Ligt arrived in Turin from Ajax Amsterdam in August last year as Juventus’ major signing of the season. At that time, De Ligt was getting constantly compared to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and there was a common-sense opinion that the young defender would stand out, even more, playing at a bigger and more competitive League.
The in-demand Dutch defender ended up picking Juventus up amid interests from basically every top-flight club in Europe.
Some say that Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo played a major agent role as he reportedly spoke with De Ligt after the final whistle at the UEFA Nations League’s Final between Portugal and Holland last year, as the Portuguese International formally invited the Dutch youngster to join Juventus and team up with him.
However, his first year in Piedmont was not what everyone, including De Ligt himself, were expecting, as the player underwent some ups and downs throughout the season.
Sometimes, he had to watch the whole match from the bench, and it has surely made him reflect on his decision of leaving Ajax, where he was the club’s captain even at the age of 19, and then, rumors of possible dissatisfaction with Juve manager Maurizio Sarri emerged.
De Ligt was asked by Italian magazine ‘TuttoSport’ about his future at the Bianconeri, and he finally opened up on whether a move is possible or not:
“I am very happy at Juventus. I discovered during that period without football that someone made up some things about me. I am very happy to be here, training every day with extraordinary players. I have the desire to improve every day, so yes, I am happy, ”said the Dutchman to Tuttosport.
In addition, the defender praised Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri, saying the Italian coach knows how to think about the game. Anyway, the coach has been suffering criticism for the performance of Juventus in the season, even with the 1st place in the Serie A TIM.
“Sarri is a strategist. He is very attentive to this side of the game and has an extremely precise idea of football. He wants us to build from behind and play technical football, more or less like what I was used to at Ajax. Basically, you can say that he is very ‘Dutch’, even though his Italian spirit remains strong. You could say that he is Italy’s answer to Total Football, ”he added up.
This season De Ligt played 27 matches for Juventus, scoring two goals. It’s straight-up nonsense thinking that he would give up on Juventus only for an average season at the Italian club. Juve paid about 85 million euros for the defender, and he was the most expensive defender ever for some months until Man United signed Leicester’s Harry Maguire, who is having a terrible season at the British club.
He’s just adapting to Italy, and to the Serie A, as I’m sure he will be a key player next season.