Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal is impressed with Matthijs de Ligt’s form for Juventus but confirmed that Stefan de Vrij remains his first choice.

Louis van Gaal held his press conference on Thursday ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Latvia in Riga.

The Oranje boss was asked about the form of Matthijs de Ligt and said, “He has risen from the darkness! I’ve seen his last two games at Juventus, you saw real progress. I am happy with that. What does that mean? He’s getting closer and closer to play. But he has an incredible competitor in Stefan de Vrij.”

De Vrij is still van Gaal’s first choice to partner Virgil van Dijk, “Stefan has done fantastic in the previous three matches and was the best player in two of those matches. He is in good shape, while Matthijs is coming back from the valley.”

Van Gaal was also asked about the form of Van Dijk, “He’s been playing for a while. Virgil has played four or five games at Liverpool, and two at Orange. He’s not in top shape yet, but he’s close.”

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