Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo is faced with a mini-defensive crisis after Dutch international centre back Matthijs De Ligt was ruled out of the league clash with highflyers Sassuolo at home on Sunday evening.

Matthijs De Ligt joined the growing list of absentees for the Old Lady in the defensive area after the club confirmed on Friday that the Dutchman has tested positive for Covid-19. Matthijs De Ligt was highly sought after while he was at boyhood club Ajax Amsterdam and it was Juventus that won the race to sign him at the start of last season.

Matthijs De Ligt opted for Italian football ahead of the likes of English football, French football and Spanish football. Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) all tried and failed to secure his signing from Ajax Amsterdam. At the time you could have got great odds on De Ligt moving to Juve – if you missed out on that great opportunity, you can find some here – you might win!

De Ligt has missed a lot of football action for Juventus in Italian football this season. He missed the opening weeks of the new Italian football season with a shoulder injury and he recently recovered from the said injury. He has been in good form since his return from the shoulder injury as shown during the 3-1 away win over league leaders AC Milan in midweek. The Dutchman will likely miss the blockbuster league encounter with Inter Milan on January 17 as he won’t have recovered from Covid-19 by then. Juventus were without defensive options like Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado for the AC Milan game on Wednesday and Matthijs De Ligt has now joined those two on the sidelines.

While De Ligt would miss the home game with Sassuolo this weekend, fellow centre back Giorgio Chiellini is in line to return to the team for the game to boost the defensive options available for manager Andrea Pirlo. Leonardo Bonucci and Merih Demiral are the other two centre backs available for selection.