Netherlands boss Danny Blind has confirmed his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier with Bulgaria and friendly with Italy. The big surprise is the inclusion of 17-year-old Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt.

  • By Michael Bell
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Netherlands continue their World Cup qualifying campaign away to Bulgaria on the 25th of March before hosting Italy in a friendly three days later.

The injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Jeffrey Bruma have forced Blind to look at alternative centre-backs and he has decided to call-up Lazio’s Wesley Hoedt and Ajax youngster Matthijs de Ligt for the first time. De Ligt has only recently turned 17 but has been excellent for Ajax this season.

Also included are Wesley Sneijder, Jens Toornstra and Tonny Vilhena, but there is no place for Luuk de Jong, Jetro Willems, Eljero Elia or Davy Propper.

The full squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Michel Vorm (Tottenham Hotspur), Jeroen Zoet (PSV).

Defenders: Daley Blind (Manchester United), Wesley Hoedt (Lazio), Rick Karsdorp (Feyenoord), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax), Bruno Martins Indi (Stoke City), Kenny Tete (Ajax), Joël Veltman (Ajax), Nick Viergever (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij (Lazio).

Midfielders: Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Kevin Strootman (AS Roma), Jens Toornstra (Feyenoord), Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool).

Attackers: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyon), Bas Dost (Sporting Lissabon), Vincent Janssen (Tottenham Hotspur), Jeremain Lens (Fenerbahçe), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moskou), Arjen Robben (Bayern München)

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