Matthijs De Ligt plays down rumors about his overweight

    Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has dismissed the rumors indicating that Maurizio Sarri put him on a low-carb diet

    Juventus’ marquee summer signing has picked up just five top-flight this term, and that’s thanks to the fact Giorgio Chiellini has sustained an injury that will keep him out of action for a few more months.

    Called into action earlier than initially expected, the highly-rated youngster has struggled to replicate the form that brought him to Italy in the first place.

    Also, the Dutch defender gave away a cheap penalty in Sunday’s Serie A meeting with Inter Milan, but his side eventually ended up winning the derby 2-1.

    Although the 20-year-old endured a difficult match against the Nerazzurri that included an embarrassing nutmeg to Romelu Lukaku, he is not interested in the stories about his overweight.

    “[The article] really is a wild story,” De Ligt told Nu.nl, as transcribed by the Mirror.

    “It doesn’t surprise me anymore. 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.”

    The Bianconeri forked out approximately €75million to lure him away from Ajax in the summer, but the Netherlands international insists his arrival was intended to have more impact in the future rather than the present.

    “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.

    “The most important lesson I have learned so far at Juventus is that you need self-confidence. In the beginning, I noticed I was way too concerned about not making mistakes, and that’s exactly what you shouldn’t do. I never played that way and in my first weeks, I was too focused on that.

    “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 have an upward trend.

    “The critiques you get after the game are part of the deal. Unfortunately, that’s the life of a defender. You’re balancing on such a thin line of playing good or bad.

    “Of course I’d rather not give away a penalty kick, but in the end, we won [against Inter] and that’s what matters.”

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