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Martusciello backs De Ligt after low-key Juventus debut

De Ligt
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Giovanni Martusciello insists Matthijs de Ligt will come good for Juventus following a disappointing debut in Saturday’s 4-3 win over Napoli.

After sitting out of Juventus’ opening day win at Parma last weekend, Giorgio Chiellini’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury opened the door for De Ligt to finally make his debut.

The €75m signing partnered veteran Leonardo Bonucci at the heart of the Bianconeri defence in Turin.

Things got off to a decent start with De Ligt helping Juventus keep a clean sheet as they entered the break 2-0 up. However, things fell apart in the second-half shortly after Cristiano Ronaldo scored the third goal.

The 20-year-old’s lapse in concentration helped open the door for Kostas Manolas and Hirving Lozano to score a quick-fire double. The lost-looking Dutchman then saw Giovanni Di Lorenzo slip past him to equalise for Napoli.

In all fairness, though, the entire Juventus defence were below-par during the game. Although Kalidou Koulibaly’s 92nd-minute own goal spared their blushes in the end.

But, for Juventus assistant Martusciello anyway, De Ligt’s performance is of no concern at all to him.

The Italian instead argued that the youngster needs time to settle into his new team and adapt. However, Chiellini’s injury left him with no choice but to change his plans for De Ligt.

“De Ligt is still a little bit behind in terms of learning the movements and being part of the defensive unit,” Martusciello told Sky Sport Italia.

“He has arrived in a difficult league like Serie A from a very different team. But he has a great deal of quality, is very intelligent and will learn quickly. He had a very good hour too, so he’s getting there.

“We had hoped for more time to get him settled, but unfortunately Giorgio Chiellini had that serious injury and changed the plans.”

Following their 4-3 win over Napoli, Juventus have gone top of the Serie A standings for the time being.

TURIN, ITALY – AUGUST 31: Juventus players celebrate the victory.