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Van Dijk: Matthijs de Ligt unaffected after shaky Juventus debut

Matthijs de Ligt, Netherlands
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Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk revealed team-mate Matthijs de Ligt remains calm despite a forgettable Juventus debut.

De Ligt got his big chance in the Juventus line-up last weekend following Giorgio Chiellini’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

However, the €75m signing had a disastrous second-half display and looked lost in the Juventus defence. A lapse in concentration then opened the door for Napoli’s Kostas Manolas, Hirving Lozano and Giovanni Di Lorenzo to score.

While Kalidou Koulibaly’s 92nd-minute own goal gifted the Bianconeri a crucial 4-3 win, it didn’t spare De Ligt of critics coming after him.

Despite the nightmarish start to life in Turin, though, Van Dijk insists the 20-year-old is unaffected after linking up for the Netherlands’ Euro 2020 qualifiers against Germany on Friday night and Estonia next Monday.

“I saw Matthijs arrive very normally. Nothing was wrong,” the Liverpool centre-back told reporters during a press conference.

“Everybody that knows him also knows that he always stays calm in these kinds of situations.

“Of course, I spoke to him. But we don’t need to tell each other a lot. I think it’s also something you only talk about when you see each other for the first time again.

“After that, the focus is on the future and the match in front of us as a pairing. So that’s what we did.”

De Ligt, who already has 17 caps to his name at international level, will likely start for Holland’s showdown with Germany in Hamburg.

Victory for Ronald Koeman’s side is basically essential, with the Dutch team sitting third in Group C with just three points in two games.

Germany, meanwhile, sit in second-place and three points behind shock leaders Northern Ireland, who have won all four of their matches.

The Group C encounter between Germany and Holland will start at 20:45 (CET).

PORTO, PORTUGAL – JUNE 09: The team of The Netherlands line up prior to the UEFA Nations League Final between Portugal and the Netherlands at Estadio do Dragao on June 09, 2019 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)