The Dutch international believes that the departure of veteran bulwarks such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, and Clarence Seedorf has left a vacuum that must be filled by new faces and young players, many of whom were not in the starting eleven last year.
De Jong himself arrived from Manchester City late on in the summer transfer window, one of the few signings made by Milan as the famed Italian giants grappled with the task of complying with FIFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.
“I think everything revolves around a lack of experience,” the former Ajax man told Corriere Dello Sport.
“This is a very young team. In addition, several players who were on the bench last year are now regulars. Not surprisingly, we are making progress with every game.”
Milan have taken only 7 points from their first 6 Serie A matches, leading many tifosi and media figures to call for coach Massimiliano Allegri to be dismissed. However, De Jong insists that heaping blame on the manager is simply a common phenomenon in football.
“It’s always like that everywhere. Ajax had four coaches [in my time at the club] and new managers are always being spoken of at Manchester City,” said the 27 year-old midfielder.
“The newspapers have a vested interest in cases like these. But what counts in the end is what [the club executives] want. Only Berlusconi and Galliani can determine if he is no longer suitable. And if they say Allegri is our coach, Allegri is our coach and [the team] is with him.”
The Rossoneri received a boost in confidence midweek, defeating Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg on the road in a thrilling 3-2 encounter.
Milan and Inter kickoff the Derby della Madonnina Sunday at 20.45 CET.