On Wednesday, Ronald Koeman will announce his first Netherlands pre-selection for the upcoming friendlies with England and Portugal. With the coach hoping to build a new Oranje a number of players could earn their first call-ups. Michael Bell picks five players who could deputise. 

Steven Bergwijn

The 20-year-old has struggled to live up to expectations since breaking into the PSV Eindhoven first team but the winger has exploded into form since the winter break.

In his last 11 Eredivisie games, Bergwijn has contributed five goals and five assists. He netted two stunning goals against Sparta Rotterdam, inspired PSV past Feyenoord and showcased his pace to net in a 3-0 victory over Utrecht.

Bergwijn is now starting to look like the young star, who was called the new Robben and Memphis, and a national team call-up is the next step. Without Robben, Netherlands need someone who has pace and is willing to run at defences and Bergwijn could be the man for the job.

Oussama Idrissi

Idrissi was a good prospect at Groningen but since his move to AZ Alkmaar in January the winger’s performances have reached another level and he needs to be considered as a possible international.

In eight games for AZ, Idrissi has been unstoppable, contributing four goals and five assists which have maintained the club’s position in third and helped them reach the KNVB Cup final.

The 22-year-old is a pacey, direct winger, who has bags of tricks and isn’t afraid to shoot on sight. His unpredictability make him, alongside Bergwijn a candidate to push for an Oranje starting spot. Interest from Morocco means Netherlands need to tie the youngster down before they lose him like Hakim Ziyech and Sofyan Amrabat.

Wout Weghorst

The biggest decision facing Ronald Koeman is who to play up front? Vincent Janssen is injured, while Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar are no longer viable options. There is Bas Dost, who has never really convinced in Oranje, Luuk de Jong who has come into form at PSV, and Jurgen Locadia who is scoring for Brighton, but can Koeman ignore the form Wout Weghorst is showing at AZ?

Yes the lanky forward isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and he does miss several chances, but in 28 games this season he has netted twenty goals and provided six assists.

He is undeniably a handful in the box and gets under the skin of defenders with his never give up attitude. Speaking to Recht, Weghorst is hoping for the call, “On Wednesday they will announce the pre-selection, exciting, I hope it will happen. I’ve done everything I can, this season is going well, twenty goals in 28 games, I hope it’s enough, let’s hope, then I’m a very happy person.”

Justin Kluivert

Justin Kluivert’s rise over the past year has been rapid and the 18-year-old is now considered to be one of Europe’s biggest talents.

Kluivert has become undroppable for Ajax, scoring six goals and contributing four assists in 21 games and he is already a regular at Jong Oranje level. His dad Patrick Kluivert debuted in Oranje at 18 and Justin will be hoping to follow in is footsteps and feature against England and Portugal.

Kluivert started the season in indifferent form but he has improved rapidly since the winter break and is showcasing his immense talent week in week out. He is full of confidence, two-footed, pacey and direct. It is only a matter of time before he gets the nod in Oranje so why wait?

Guus Til

The third AZ Alkmaar player to make it onto this list is Guus Til, who has been a revelation in their midfield this season.

The attacking midfielder has been an ever-present in the heart of John van den Brom’s side this season, scoring nine goals and contributing two assists.

With Davy Klaassen not playing at Everton, and Wesley Sneijder now retired, Koeman could look to the 20-year-old to add some movement and goal threat to his midfield. The 20-year-old reminds me a lot of Klaassen at Ajax, always finding space around the box to take a shot or create a chance.

Til already has four caps at U21 level.

Frenkie de Jong

The Ajax star would have been nailed on for a call-up but an ankle injury now makes him a major doubt for the friendly doubleheader. The exact recovery time has not yet been revealed meaning that De Jong could make it back in time to make an appearance at the end of the month, although unlikely.

De Jong has left Netherlands fans excited with his dominating performances for Ajax this season, despite being asked to play in the centre of defence. A midfielder by trade, De Jong’s ability to spot a pass and dribbling technique make him one of the countries biggest young talents and he is already being linked with Europes biggest clubs including Manchester City and Barcelona.

The 20-year-old is set to be a major part of the Netherlands squad hoping to make it to Euro 2020 but may have to wait a little longer for his debut should he fail to make it back in time.




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