Three players could make their Netherlands debuts in the upcoming friendlies with France and England. Michael Bell takes a look at the new faces in the Oranje squad.

janssen oranVincent Janssen

Its hard to believe that 12 months ago Janssen was plying his trade for Almere City in the Dutch second division, but the striker is now part of the national team set-up after an outstanding first season in the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar.

The 21-year-old didn’t have the best of starts to life in the Dutch top division, with Janssen failing to score in AZ’s first seven league games, but he is now the divisions top scorer after netting 20 goals in his last 17 Eredivisie ties. He is undoubtedly the most confident Dutch forward in Europe now and heads into the Oranje camp scoring in each of his last seven matches.

Janssen has been compared to former Oranje legend Ruud van Nistelrooy, with the youngster strong and lethal in the penalty area. However, Janssen doesn’t just score goals with link up play and passing also a big part of his game.

With Klaas jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie’s career’s winding down, Netherlands need a new forward to lead the charge into the 2018 World Cup, and at the moment Vincent Janssen seems to be the best option. The matches against France and England will give the striker the chance to stake his claim.

letschert ndTimo Letschert

The centre of defence has been a big issue for Netherlands since the days of Jaap Stam and Frank de Boer, with a strong partnership nowhere to be seen. Stefan de Vrij and Ron Vlaar are possibly the two most effective centre backs Netherlands have, but neither will be available to face France and England, meaning Utrecht’s Timo Letschert will get his chance.

The commanding centre back has been outstanding for Utrecht this season as his side challenge for a top three spot in the Eredivisie, and the 22-year-old has been handed his first call-up to the Oranje squad, having previously made three appearances for the U21’s.

At 6ft 2in, Letschert is good in the air, but also likes to have the ball at his feet and go on a run into the oppositions half. Strong in the tackle, Letschert makes an average of three interceptions per game, and could add more steel to a defence which leaked far too many goals during the failed Euro qualifying campaign.

karsdorp feyaRick Karsdorp

With Daryl Janmaat pulling out of the squad on Sunday, Feyenoord right back Rick Kardorp has been handed his chance to impress in Oranje.

Karsdorp started his career as a central midfielder in the Rotterdam side’s youth teams, but was adapted into an attacking wing-back by former Feyenoord boss Fred Rutten. Now in his second season as Feyenoord’s first choice right back, the 21-year-old is going from strength to strength in the position, and has become a real asset going forward, with eight assists to his name.

Crossing and speed are Karsdorp’s two main strength’s, but he still needs to work on the defensive side of his game, which is too weak at the moment to guarantee him a permanent place in the national team. Against De Graafschap at the weekend, Karsdorp was at fault for the opening goal as he allowed Robin Propper to glide past him on the wing before scoring, and against stronger opposition such as France and England he may get caught out.

Karsdorp is a great talent, but its debatable at the moment, whether he has a real chance of challenging Janmaat or Kenny Tete for a starting position when they are fit again.

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