Matthijs de Ligt Says He No Longer Feels 'Invincible' After Move to Juventus

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2019

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 6: Matthijs de Ligt of Juventus  during the Italian Serie A   match between Internazionale v Juventus at the San Siro on October 6, 2019 in Milan Italy (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Matthijs de Ligt has said he no longer feels "invincible" like he did at Ajax following his early struggles since moving to Juventus.

The centre-back starred for Ajax last term as they won the Eredivisie for the first time since 2014 and made the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, beating Real Madrid and Juve in the process.

De Ligt, 20, was subsequently linked to numerous top European clubs, including Barcelona and Manchester United, and eventually joined the Old Lady for £67.5 million.

He struggled early on in Serie A, and he has now acknowledged he does not have the same confidence he did at Ajax, although he is sure he will improve, per Fox Sports (h/t Goal's Robin Bairner):

"At Ajax, I felt invincible. Today it's different. But I think it's normal because everything is new for me. I'm progressing and I'm not worried.

"I don't know myself why I'm not playing as well as I'd like. All I can do is continue to work, to do my best and to try to learn from my team-mates.

"I play and that's the main thing because, in the end, I'm sure that everything will go well and this season will be positive."

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Manager Maurizio Sarri has given De Ligt plenty of game time in the 2019-20 season, starting him in five of Juve's seven Serie A games and both UEFA Champions League group-stage games.

Despite some teething problems in Turin, the Netherlands international is beginning to repay the Italian's faith.

It was always likely to take him some time to adapt to the Italian top flight, and his recent appearances have shown he is making progress:

Central defenders tend to reach their peak nearer 30 than 20, and it is easy to forget that De Ligt only recently got out of his teens.

He is the current holder of Tuttosport's Golden Boy award and has been nominated again this year:

It is an accolade that recognises talent in young players with huge potential.

Because De Ligt has been a key senior club player for three seasons, captained Ajax last term and already has 19 full caps for the Netherlands, it is easy to view him as the finished article, but he is not.

The fact that De Ligt himself acknowledges that bodes well for Juve, who are likely to start seeing plenty of return on their investment in him as he settles and gains more experience.

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