The European Championships is getting closer and closer and it will not be long until Frank de Boer has to decide his 23-man squad for the tournament. Michael Bell takes a guess at who De Boer will pick.

Before we get started I should note that this is who I feel Frank de Boer will pick and it is not my preferred squad for the tournament. It is also based on the current number of 23 players, which could get increased by UEFA to 25-27.

Jasper Cillessen

An obvious one to start. Netherlands number one for years will be in the squad for the tournament as long as he remains fit. The Valencia stopper missed a big chunk of the season through injury and had to pull out of the recent World Cup qualifiers. However, should he return in time for the tournament then he will be in goal for Oranje throughout the tournament.

Tim Krul

Krul will be in the squad with De Boer picking the Norwich City stopper in the recent internationals after Cillessen pulled out through injury. Usually a reliable keeper, Krul had a poor game against Turkey, but was still given the confidence to start the next two games. if Cillessen is fit, Krul may have to play the role of back up and penalty killer again, much like he did in 2014.

Maarten Stekelenburg

Returned to the Netherlands squad after years away due to his performances for Ajax once he stepped in for the suspended Andre Onana. If he continues to perform then it is very likely that he will be the third choice keeper at the tournament ahead of Marco Bizot and Joel Drommel.

Kenny Tete

Tete has been in and out of the Netherlands squad in recent years but he has impressed De Boer with his performances for Fulham. He was in the latest squad ahead of Rick Karsdorp of Roma, but his performance against Turkey will have raised eyebrows. He was then replaced by Dumfries for the next two games. If Hans Hateboer is injured, De Boer may stick with Tete for the tournament.

Denzel Dumfries

The PSV Eindhoven captain has 16 caps for the Netherlands and it would be a shock if he wasn’t in the squad despite his often erratic performances when in an Oranje shirt. He was hooked off at half-time of the 7-0 win over Gibraltar after failing to impress, but at the moment he remains the first choice right back, unless De Boer has a big change of heart. His contribution to the attack could be vital at the tournament.

Matthijs de Ligt

The Juventus star recently earned his 25th cap for the Netherlands and he will be crucial for Oranje at the tournament. He is a guaranteed starter if fit and will be the defensive leader for Frank de Boer with Virgil van Dijk set to miss out.

Stefan de Vrij

With Van Dijk likely to miss the tournament, De Vrij should be the chosen one to start alongside De Ligt at the back. The Inter centre-back was a star for Netherlands during the 2014 run to the semi-finals and he could once again be crucial for Oranje at a tournament. One of the best centre-backs in Europe over the past two seasons, De Vrij should be one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Nathan Ake

Ake has had a frustrating season through injury but if he returns to fitness then he will take his place in the squad. He is a versatile defender, who can fill in centrally or even on the left of defence. Ake is a threat from set pieces and is an excellent option should De Boer decide to go five at the back.

Joel Veltman

Likely to be picked as the fourth option for centre-back, Veltman has had a steady season for Brighton and is a reliable option for De Boer. He also has experience at right-back should that be needed throughout the tournament. His experience will see him given the nod over a Sven Botman, Perr Schuurs or Jeremiah St Juste.

Owen Wijndal

Played all three of Netherlands recent games at left-back and seems almost certain to be in the squad for the tournament. Is decent defensively but needs to work on his final product going forward. The AZ left-back is a wonderful talent, though, and could make the left-back slot his for years to come.

Daley Blind

A big question mark for the squad after suffering an injury which will most likely end his season with Ajax. However, he is determined to reach the Euro’s. De Boer will give him every chance of being there if he can prove his fitness. A versatile option who is great on the ball, Blind can play in the centre of defence, on the left, and in midfield.

Frenkie de Jong

If Netherlands are to go far in the tournament then they will need an in-form Frenkie de Jong to guide them there. Arguably the most crucial player in the squad, De Jong is the metronome in the midfield and sets Oranje’s tempo. He had a quiet international period, but big expectations will be on his shoulders at the Euro’s.

Davy Klaassen

Has won his place back in the squad after returning to Ajax last summer and scored a wonderful goal against Turkey in the recent 4-2 defeat. However, his performances against Latvia and Gibraltar were not so good. He will be in the squad if fit, though, and at the moment is probably the favourite to start in the midfield along with De Jong and Wijnaldum.

Marten de Roon

The Atalanta star is always picked in the midfield against the stronger nations when Netherlands need extra protection to the defence. He will be in the squad for the tournament and may be crucial should Oranje go far in the tournament. An expert at breaking up play.

Ryan Gravenberch

Netherlands trump card for the tournament is Gravenberch, with the 18-year-old one of the most exciting young midfielders in Europe. He played in all three of the recent internationals and De Boer is a big fan of the Ajax star, who will be a regular for Netherlands for years to come. A strong presence in the midfield, Gravenberch excels in big games and is destined for greatness.

Georginio Wijnaldum

The Netherlands captain in the absence of Van Dijk, Wijnaldum will lead Oranje out at the tournament and will be crucial for De Boer’s side. Can be played deeper against smaller nations and in the 10 role should Netherlands progress to the latter stages. Wijnaldum is usually one of the most reliable players in an Oranje shirt.

Donny van de Beek

Despite his lack of playing time for Manchester United, Van de Beek remains an option for the Netherlands and he should remain in the squad for the Euro’s. He may not be a starter but he is an alternative for Wijnaldum and Klaassen in the 10 role.

Calvin Stengs

De Boer named Stengs as the back-up option to Berghuis on the right wing and the AZ Alkmaar star may get the nod in the squad ahead of other options such as Quincy Promes, Steven Bergwijn or Noa Lang. A very talented winger, Stengs excels with the ball at his feet and he could be a breakout star at the tournament. His inclusion isn’t just because he is dating De Boer’s daughter.

Steven Berghuis

Started all three of Netherlands recent matches on the right wing and did well, so you can be almost certain that the Feyenoord captain will definitely be in the squad. A confidence player, who likes to cut in from the right wing, Berghuis can trouble defences and has an eye for goal. Expect him to start the first match at the Euro’s.

Ryan Babel

Yes I know! He is the most controversial player on this list and we probably all agree that he should not be in the squad. However, De Boer is a big fan and has said on several occasions that Babel is crucial off the pitch for the squad unity. Despite his lack of form at club level, Babel will almost certainly be picked for the squad ahead of other options. Whether this is a big mistake will only be known after the tournament. If Babel scores the winner in a crucial game then we will all love him.

Memphis Depay

The star upfront for the Netherlands, Memphis is assured of a place and a start throughout the tournament. If Netherlands is to go far, then he will need to be on form in front of goal. Often frustrating for his sometimes erratic shooting, Memphis is a player that lights up the pitch and he can do things that nobody else in this squad can. Can be played through the middle or on the left.

Donyell Malen

The PSV Eindhoven attacker has been in good goalscoring form for PSV Eindhoven this season and he will be heading to the tournament. He has plenty of pace and offers De Boer some versatility with Malen capable of playing along the frontline, although this didn’t work against Turkey. Malen is the alternative through the middle for Memphis and could even partner him if De Boer goes for two up front.

Luuk de Jong

Almost as loved as much as Babel, De Jong’s inclusion over Wout Weghorst was debated during the recent qualifiers. However, De Jong scored in all three games and that has probably sealed his place at the tournament. His height and heading ability is a weapon for the Netherlands, but only if crosses are put into the box. He could be a shock starter at the tournament, with Memphis on the left and Berghuis on the right.

Michael Bell (59 Posts)