Ronald Koeman has explained why Ryan Gravenberch was not in the Netherlands provisional squad but he confirmed that the midfielder will return to Oranje if he continues to impress with Liverpool.

Gravenberch has impressed in Liverpool since joining the club in the summer but he was missing from the Netherlands provisional squad for their upcoming qualifiers with Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar.

Speaking as a guest with Rondo, Oranje boss Ronald Koeman was asked why, “Before the preselection was announced, I called him and said that he was not there. But if he continues to develop in this way, he will join the Dutch national team.

“I told him that I want to do it with the same group as much as possible in the coming international match.

“We are going to qualify, which means we will have practice matches in March and June and then the European Championship. He is a midfielder who is definitely in the picture if he plays more. That was already the case at Bayern, but if you saw every weekend that he did not play or came on for five minutes… Then it does not make sense to select him.”

Asked if Gravenberch’s decision to drop out of the U21’s earlier in the season played a part, Koeman said, “No, that’s over.

“Whether his withdrawal was understandable? Maybe, but I actually think that he was able to get the matches at the Dutch Juniors that he did not play before. Of course, there is something to be said for him being like that, but I think that we at the KNVB should never be happy if someone does not opt-out for a good reason. I was also a football player, but you have to draw a line. We told Ryan: we understand it a bit, but we don’t think it’s okay. If you If you are called, you must come.”

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