Juventus’ third most expensive signing in history, Matthijs de Ligt, has noted that he would have to fight Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci for a shirt in the team’s defence line.
De Ligt, who joined the Italian giants for £78 million this summer, said he was surprised for being left on the bench in the champions’ first game of the new Serie A season.
The Old Lady recorded a slim 0-1 victory away to Parma, courtesy of Chiellini’s goal.
Coach Maurizio Sarri was not available due to his ill health, after he was diagnosed with Pneumonia last week, but reports suggested he would still have a say in the game via the mobile phone.
The former Ajax captain, admitted that he is still trying to adapt to life in Italy, and he knew it would be tough to displace any of the centre-backs, who are referred to as arguably the best pair in the world.
“Of course, I would have preferred to play,” he said after the game.
“I couldn’t read this based on the training sessions, in that sense I didn’t see this coming, but obviously I respect the decision of the coach.
“I’m also realistic, I’m still getting used to being here in Italy. The duo that played today, Chiellini and [Leonardo] Bonucci, were seen as the best defensive pairing in the world.
“It’s not like you’re just going to play instead of them in the opening match. I’ll have to conquer them to earn my place in the team this season.”
De Ligt was not the only new signing at the club that was left on the bench.
Aaron Ramsey, who joined on a free transfer from Arsenal, is recovering from injury. But he has been called-up by Wales manager, Ryan Giggs, for upcoming international matches against Azerbaijan and Belarus.
Adrian Rabiot, who also arrived on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, made his debut from the bench, replacing Sami Khedira after just an hour.
Paulo Dybala was also an unused substitute.