Everything you need to know about the Netherlands before Euro 2024
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Everything you need to know about the Netherlands before Euro 2024

07/06/24 12:22

Netherlands Coach Ronald Koeman has picked a star-studded squad for the European Championships in Germany this summer, combining renowned world-beaters with exciting, emerging new talents. Their squad is as follows:

Squad

Goalkeepers: Bart Verbruggen (Brighton) Mark Flekken (Brentford) Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord)

Defenders: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan) Mickey van de Ven (Tottenham Hotspur) Daley Blind (Girona) Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich) Nathan Ake (Manchester City) Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan) Lutsharel Geertruida (Feyenoord) Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen)

Midfielders: Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta) Ryan Gravenberch (Liverpool) Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona) Tijjani Reijnders (AC Milan) Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig) Joey Veerman (PSV) Jerdy Schouten (PSV) Gini Wijnaldum (Al-Ettifaq)

Forwards: Steven Bergwijn (Ajax) Memphis Depay (Atletico Madrid) Brian Brobbey (Ajax) Wout Weghorst (Hoffenheim) Donyell Malen (Borussia Dortmund) Cody Gakpo (Liverpool).

Overview

Netherlands have always been a European powerhouse for sides to be wary of, having won the Euros in 1988 and reaching 3 world cup finals since international tournament football made its break-through.

However, despite having one of the most well-rounded squads at the tournament, complete with one of the best defensive line-ups you are likely to see, Netherlands have struggled against other big-hitting teams, losing to France, Italy and Germany in the run up to the euros.

Their defense and midfield are not the problem and will likely perform well, but their attack could create difficulties. Lacking an elite striker, Koeman has called up Brian Brobbey and Wout Weghorst, and while they are both gifted footballers, their technical ability is eclipsed by their height, strength and ability to hold the ball up, which has not historically been a trait of Netherlands football.

Additionally, Cody Gakpo, one of two along with Memphis Depay who could be considered elite-level forwards, has been out of sorts for Liverpool this season, and while historically he performs on the international stage, there is no promise he will suddenly hit his stride at the start of the tournament.

Player to Watch

However, there are bright spots for the Netherlands. Jeremy Frimpong announced himself as a world-class right-back this season playing in Leverkusen's undefeated domestic campaign.

Making 26 goal contributions in total, he was the German outfit's greatest threat paired with opposite wing-back Santiago Grimaldo, and he will hope he is used in a similar fashion for the national team. His quality of delivery could potentially vindicate the selection of strikers Brobbey and Weghorst.

While there is no doubting that the Netherlands have a talented squad, it remains to be seen whether they can click to go on a deep run in an international competition. With new talent yet to be properly embedded in the squad, and the presence of Jeremie Frimpong on the right likely not enough by itself, I can see a shock group-stage exit for the Oranje, with Poland taking second place in the group. While I would be delighted to be proven wrong, I feel that their current squad is 1 major tournament away from clicking. The 2026 world cup is where I would expect to see big things from them.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Harry Pascoe

Football Writer

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