Matthijs de Ligt has hit back at claims that Maurizio Sarri told him to lose weight.
Juventus centre back de Ligt has endured a mixed start to his Serie A career after his big-money moves from Ajax in the summer, having largely been made five appearances and been forced to watch Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci start from the bench.
As such a rumour was spread that the Holland international was told to go on a low-carb diet and undergo a series of one-on-one sessions by manager Sarri.
But de Ligt has laughed off the gossip and promised that Juve fans will start to see his full potential in the near future.
“[The article] really is a wild story,” De Ligt told Nu.nl.
“It doesn’t surprise me any more. 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.
“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 away. 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.”