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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Geertruida, Wieffer and Verbruggen to make Netherlands debut


Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman on Friday called up Lutsharel Geertruida, Mats Wieffer and Bart Verbruggen for their Euro 2024 qualifiers against France and Gibraltar later this month.

The trio received their first call-up for the Oranje, who will visit France on March 24 in Paris and host Gibraltar on March 27 in Rotterdam. 20-year-old Verbruggen became the first-choice goalkeeper of Belgian side Anderlecht this season, while 22-year-old defender Geertruida developed into a key player in Dutch league leaders Feyenoord. The 23-year-old midfielder Wieffer only gained a regular starting place in Feyenoord since the winter break.

It is the first squad in the second term of Koeman as Netherlands coach, and the first selection of the Dutch national team since the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by eventual world champions Argentina after a penalty shootout.

21-year-old Ajax striker Brian Brobbey and 23-year-old Newcastle United defender Sven Botman are not new to the squad but have not played their first match for the national team yet. 32-year-old AS Roma midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has recovered from a leg fracture and was also part of Koeman’s selection of 25 players.

The most notable absentee is 31-year-old Inter Milan defender Stefan de Vrij, who has always been part of the squad when he was fit in recent years. Teun Koopmeiners, who missed Atalanta’s last matches due to an injury, is also absent, just like injured Heerenveen goalkeeper Andries Noppert, who was the first choice goalkeeper at the World Cup.

Netherlands squad:

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen, Mark Flekken, Bart Verbruggen

Defenders: Nathan Ake, Daley Blind, Sven Botman, Virgil van Dijk, Denzel Dumfries, Lutsharel Geertruida, Matthijs de Ligt, Tyrell Malacia, Jurrien Timber

Midfielders: Steven Berghuis, Frenkie de Jong, Davy Klaassen, Marten de Roon, Xavi Simons, Kenneth Taylor, Mats Wieffer, Georginio Wijnaldum

Attackers: Steven Bergwijn, Brian Brobbey, Memphis Depay, Cody Gakpo, Wout Weghorst

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