Before the Neymar transfer went into overdrive, the summer deal everyone was talking about was Matthijs de Ligt. He reached the semi-finals of the Champions League with Ajax and then lost in the Nations League final with Holland. Many expected him to join Frenkie de Jong at the Camp Nou but instead he opted for Italy and signed for Juventus in a €75m deal.
Yet it hasn't quite gone according to plan for the young defender. He struggled throughout preseason and was blamed for the number of goals the team conceded. Joao Felix gave him a torrid time in particular.
And that carried over into the season opener where de Ligt found himself on the bench. "Of course, I would have preferred to play,” the former Ajax captain said following the match. said after the game. “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."
No doubt de Ligt will be hoping to break his way into the first team at Juventus sooner rather than later.