Orange trains without Gakpo, Blind and Reijnders understand Koeman decision
Cody Gakpo was missing from the Netherlands’ second training session for the Nations League final round on Tuesday. The Liverpool striker was absent due to “pleasant family circumstances,” according to the KNVB spokesman.
National coach Ronald Koeman is training this week with players who play for clubs from the premier league, Premier League and Bundesliga. The remaining internationals do not have to report until Saturday. Nathan Aké (Manchester City) and Denzel Dumfries (Inter) therefore arrive in Zeist later. They will play Saturday night’s Champions League final.
Koeman has therefore supplemented his training group with Sepp van den Berg, Ian Maatsen, Devyne Rensch, Quinten Timber and goalkeepers Bart Verbruggen and Jasper Schendelaar. Those players from the Dutch Junior side are keeping up their fitness with an eye on the European Championships later this month in Georgia and Romania.
Daley Blind and Tijjani Reijnders are also training. Koeman has not included them in his final selection of 23 players for the Nations League final round. But the duo will remain with the Oranje until next Wednesday’s match against Croatia, as it is difficult to call up players at the last minute at the end of the season.
Blind hardly got any playing time at Bayern Munich in recent months. “I wasn’t able to make a big contribution there on the pitch,” realizes the 101-time international, who is likely to look for another club this summer.
For Reijnders, who has had a good season with AZ, training with Oranje alone is nice enough. “I didn’t expect to be in the final selection,” the midfielder said. “It’s up to me to show this week that I should be fully there next time. The national coach has been very clear with me from the beginning.”
The Orange will face Croatia next Wednesday in the Nations League semifinals. Four days after that game at De Kuip, a final or third-place match against Spain or Italy awaits.
Memphis Depay will not be in action during either game. The striker has not recovered sufficiently from a muscle injury, the KNVB announced on Monday.