Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman admitted he was surprised to see Matthijs de Ligt on the bench for Juventus against Parma on Saturday but believes he will become a starter for the Italian giants.

The centre-back moved from Ajax to Juventus this summer for €75 million but he was not picked for his new side’s Serie A opener at Parma.

Koeman was a guest on Studio Voetbal on Sunday and was asked about De Ligt being benched.

He said, “Whether it surprised me? Yes, on the one hand. You assume he will play. He made a transfer for a lot of money, but if you have Chiellini and Bonucci, the trainer may make a different choice.”

“I spoke to Matthijs two weeks ago. He himself indicated that he had to adapt to the way of playing and defending. What he was used to at Ajax is now something else, so maybe it needs a little more time.

“You go to a different country, you have to learn a different language and the way of playing is also different. That takes time, but of course it should not take too long. In Italy it’s all about defending and keeping the clean sheet and much less about building. ”

Asked whether De Ligt’s place in Koeman’s Netherlands side is under threat, he responded, “Not yet, but if this is still the case in October, you will start thinking about the fact that he has no competition rhythm.”




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