Netherlands international Matthijs de Ligt has given an honest assessment of his game time at the World Cup and addressed the links with Chelsea over the summer.
The centre-back started the Netherlands’ first match of the campaign against Senegal in a 2-0 win but was left on the bench for the following three games.
Louis van Gaal has opted for a back three of Jurrien Timber, Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake in the other matches and Netherlands remain unbeaten throughout the tournament. They face Argentina in the quarter-final on Friday, December 9.
The 23-year-old has addressed his lack of minutes to The Athletic, saying: “It’s not so frustrating, honestly. Every player wants to play but we are a group of 26 players. Honestly, I have played more than I expected to play at this World Cup. I expected to play nothing. I’m quite okay. We won together and we are in a quarter-final.”
De Ligt denies Chelsea talks
In the summer, there was speculation of the Dutchman joining Chelsea from Juventus. Eventually, he signed for Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and has cemented his place in the side’s starting 11.
De Ligt commented on the transfer rumours and insisted there was no truth to the links. He said: “I didn’t speak to them. I’m just really happy Bayern went through.”