Just hours after his official transfer to Bayern Munich from Juventus was announced, Matthijs de Ligt was on his way to Washington DC to take part in the preseason friendly against DC United on July 20th. That friendly, which Bayern won 6-2, was one of only two stops in what was a truncated preseason fixtures schedule ahead of a season that’s been just as congested. Ironically enough, he came on and scored in the win over DC United and he’s quickly established himself as a mainstay in Bayern’s back line for Julian Nagelsmann, but he recently explained that his integration process took time to fully take off.
“It was a bit difficult at the beginning. I came straight to Washington. It was normal that I was a bit behind. Things got better. I’m in good shape right now, playing all the games. This is very important to me. I have a very good feeling,” De Ligt explained in the press conference ahead of Bayern’s second group stage match in the Champions League against Barcelona (@iMiaSanMia).
As it stands, De Ligt has made a total of 17 appearances across all competitions for Bayern, and he’s started in the last eight Bundesliga matches as well as three of the Champions League matches and both matches in the DFB-Pokal. He scored his lone goal of the campaign in the 7-0 routing of VfL Bochum back at the end of August.
Both Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui joined from one of De Ligt’s former clubs, Ajax. The pair of former teammates, along with the rest of Bayern’s squad and how helpful they’ve been to De Ligt getting used to life at the club is something he’s greatly appreciative of. “All my teammates have helped me a lot. I had a good feeling from the start. I’ve fully arrived now and that’s very important for me. Bayern is a big club with a lot of history. I’m very happy to be a Bayern player,” he explained.
For most of his starts, given the current injury to Lucas Hernandez, De Ligt has been paired at center-back alongside Dayot Upamecano, who has personally shown so much improvement from his debut season as a Bayern player. De Ligt said that, by now, he has a very solid understanding with Upamecano and that’s helped them keep a total of six clean sheets together. “We play well together and try to keep a clean sheet in every game. We have a very attacking team, but it’s also very important that we keep a clean sheet. I have a good understanding with Dayot and we’re getting better game by game,” he said.