‘It really is a wild story… it doesn’t surprise me any more’: Matthijs de Ligt denies he was put on a low-carb diet by Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri
- Matthijs de Ligt has endured a mixed start to his career with Juventus
- It has led to rumours that Maurizio Sarri was unhappy with his conditioning
- But the ex-Ajax captain has denied the claims and defended his performances
The Dutchman signed for the Italian giants for €75million (£67.8m) in the summer after captaining Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals with a series of colossal displays.
But the 20-year-old hasn’t managed to make the same impact for the Old Lady in Serie A, with Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci providing fierce competition for a centre-back berth.
Matthijis de Ligt has fought for his place at centre-back for Juventus amid fierce competition
He has made five appearances, but his mixed start to the season has led to claims that Sarri told the player to start a low-carb diet – and even rumours that the head coach forced him to undergo a solo training regime.
But De Ligt has slammed the speculation and defended his start to the season, pointing out that Juventus already boast two world class defenders.
‘[The article] really is a wild story,’ he told Dutch outlet NU.nl.
‘It doesn’t surprise me any more. Sometimes I think I had a decent game, but apparently there’s something wrong after all. But those are only opinions. It’s important to know what I do well and what went wrong – and I know that well.
Manager Maurizio Sarri was rumoured to have told the Dutchman to go on a low-carb diet
‘Every new player should get the time to adapt to the team. Juventus had two great defenders already with Chiellini and Bonucci.
‘The plan was to let me enter the team slowly, but it worked out differently.
‘Obviously it’s great that I get to play already, but you get thrown in at the deep end right away. That’s a great challenge for me.’
De Ligt says he has learnt a handful of valuable lessons since joining the Serie A side, admitting he was too conscious about making errors when he first arrived – and now believes he has found the answer to consistency.
De Ligt makes a crunching tackle on Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez in the Derby d’Italia
‘The most important lesson I have learned so far at Juventus is that you need self-confidence,’ he added. ‘In the beginning, I noticed I was way too concerned about not making mistakes and that’s exactly what you shouldn’t do.
‘After that game against Atletico Madrid I called myself to order, in a way. I wanted to play with confidence again. Maybe still some things will go wrong, but at least I know for sure things are better than before. Since then I…