Dutch footballer Matthijs de Ligt has acknowledged that he has taken a big step after sealing the move to the Serie A with Juventus. The Netherlands international had been heavily linked with a number of elite European sides this summer but ultimately, the Bianconeri were the ones who won the race after agreeing on a £67m package with Ajax.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “It’s a big step. My first step abroad will take some getting used to at the beginning, but I feel very honoured by how I am welcomed. I am very proud of that, I hope I can give the fans a lot in return. I am still young, but I already have some experience. But compared to my Juve teammates I am still inexperienced, I can learn from them.”
Meanwhile, there have been suggestions that Cristiano Ronaldo may have influenced the move after making a personal plea after the Nations League final between Portugal and Netherlands but De Ligt has denied the same saying: “Of course it was nice that Ronaldo asked that, a big compliment, but it didn’t make the difference between signing or not signing.”
Juventus have gone through a major rebuild of the defence for the summer and they have pursued two other centre-backs in Merih Demiral and Cristian Romero. As such, the club seem to be moving forward from the experienced duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci and reports have suggested that the latter could be heading through the exit door this summer.
The Italian had been the subject of interest from the Premier League three years ago and reports claim that could re-emerge as an option with Manchester City looking for an experienced recruit. The Citizens have a void to overcome after the departure of Vincent Kompany and Bonucci could fancy making the switch to the Premier League holders.