Danny Blind spoke in his press conference in which he announced his final squad for the upcoming matches against Bulgaria and Italy.

  • By James Rowe
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The Oranje boss spoke about his decision to call up 17-year-old Ajax defender old Matthijs De Ligt, the goalkeeping situation and he also provided clarity regarding Wesley Sneijder.

Blind said on De Ligt, ”Yes, of course it is a surprise when a young player of 17 who has only being playing recently for Ajax is called up to the national team squad. There are circumstances that explain that. Viril van Dijk and Jeffrey Bruma are injured  We play two games and therefore we must have sufficiant options. I know Mathijs De Ligt and I watched him play a lot for Jong Ajax. I also spoke to Peter Bosz about him. His performances against FC Copenhagen was fantastic. I must say however if everybody was fit it was plausible that Mattijs De Ligt would have played for under 19’s or Jong Oranje.

”It is possible that Matthijs may well start in one of the 2 games. It also depend on how Stefan De Vrij gets on this weekend. He trained today and all being well he will play on Sunday. If he come through that ok then he will have a place in the starting lineup against Bulgaria,”

Blind also revealed the goalkeeper situation, ”I always look at the difference in quality between goalkeepers. If they are marginal then I use another criteria to select a goalkeeper. Maarten Stekelenburg has been performing brilliantly in the first half of this season and he made a big impression on me after that he got injured and he has not played since December. Then we have Jasper Cillessen who has only played around 8 games for FC Barcelona and Michel Vorm also around 5 of 6 for Tottenham Hotpur. It will be Zoet, Vorm or Cillessen that plays against Bulgaria.

Wesley Sneijder was included in the squad and Blind believes the veteran is still very important, “I made it quite clear last week that my policy regarding players that have been injured is that I do not call them up until they have proved that they can play for their club. We will assess Wesley Sneijder on Monday. He has so much drive and experience to want to achieve something which will be invaluable for this young squad. I am also aware that Wesley Sneijder will not want to sit on the bench.”

James Rowe (696 Posts)