With qualification to the 2016 European Championships now looking slim for Netherlands its time for Danny Blind to rebuild his squad with the 2018 World Cup in mind. Michael Bell picks five players that need to be part of a new look Oranje.

krul nationlTim Krul

Jasper Cillessen has made the Netherlands number one jersey his own over the past few years, but the Ajax stopper has come up short during the Euro qualifiers. Sunday’s horrible defeat to Turkey saw Cillessen let a weak shot squirm over his body, and stats have shown the goalkeeper has conceded half of the shots he has faced so far in this campaign. Within a team that dominates possession like Netherlands, a goalkeeper needs to be reliable when called upon and Cillessen has shown he isn’t the right man for the job at the moment.

Fans have been calling for Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul to become the national teams number one and it is time for coach Danny Blind to give him his chance. Krul is an excellent shot stopper and is more demanding of his area than Cillessen, while the passion shown by the 27-year-old during the World Cup quarter final shoot-out against Costa Rica, would be a welcome addition to an uninspired side.

ora u19Riechedly Bazoer

With Kevin Strootman’s injury problems showing no sign of ending, Netherlands are missing someone to dominate the midfield. Nigel de Jong’s time in the national team seems to be over, while both Daley Blind and Davy Klaassen have both failed to impress in the role.

The answer to the problem may be Ajax’s 18-year-old Riechedly Bazoer, who has been outstanding since breaking into the Amsterdam club’s first team last season. An energetic, strong and quick youngster, Bazoer has added control and fight to an Ajax midfield which centres around the creativity of Nemanja Gudelj and Davy Klaassen.

Comparisons are already being made to the likes of Patrick Viera and Frank Rijkaard, and although he only made his Netherlands U21 debut last week, in which he scored, Bazoer would add an extra dimension to Danny Blind’s squad.

ziyech ned scotHakim Ziyech

Surprisingly Netherlands are currently the top passers in the Euro qualifiers so far along with Spain. However with all the possession the Dutch player’s look short of any ideas or creativity on the pitch, with Wesley Sneijder failing to recreate the form which propelled Netherlands to the World Cup final in 2010.

Netherlands need to add spark back into their midfield and the man to do it could be FC Twente star Hazim Ziyech. The 22-year-old creates and scores goals for fun in the Eredivisie (eighteen assists and nineteen goals since the start of last season), and is the perfect replacement for Sneijder in the number ten role, if given the chance. Possessing a lethal left foot, Ziyech is dangerous from anywhere on the pitch with excellent vision and set piece deliveries

Ziyech was called into the squad for the first time by Guus Hiddink for the ties with USA and Latvia earlier this summer, but did not make his debut after suffering injury during training.

el ghazi oraneAnwar El Ghazi

With Jairo Riedewald and Kenny Tete called into the squad for the first time by coach Danny Blind, there was some surprise that Anwar El Ghazi’s name wasn’t also included. The right winger is currently the top scorer in the Eredivisie with six goals in four matches for Ajax, and offers more threat than either Luciano Narsingh or Quincy Promes.

El Ghazi does not only possess great skills, pace and strength, but the 20-year-old is also a danger because of his height, which has seen him net a number of headers during his fledgling career.

The 20-year-old is already being compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, and if he continues his rapid development then he should be the undoubted successor to Arjen Robben on the right hand side. Netherlands need to act fast to tie El Ghazi to the Dutch national team, with the youngster admitting recently that he still hasn’t completely turned his back on Morocco.

Netherlands Turkey Euro SoccerBas Dost

The biggest surprise in Danny Blind’s first Netherlands squad was the exclusion of Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost, who is currently the most in form Dutch striker outside the Eredivisie. Sixteen goals in 21 Bundesliga games last season, and two in three matches this campaign has seen the 26-year-old stake a major claim to become Netherlands number nine, but he was overlooked.

Faith was kept in Robin van Persie and Klaas jan Huntelaar for the two recent defeats, but neither looked like scoring or even threatening a goal, although the latter was sacrificed against Iceland early on after Bruno Martins Indi’s red card. It’s now time for Netherlands to look past Van Persie, who’s form has been in decline over the past year, and Dost should be given the chance to lead the line.

His height and strength make Dost the perfect target man, while the 26-year-old is also predatory in and around the box, and would link play excellently alongside Memphis and Robben.




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