AMSTERDAM: Netherlands midfielder Donny van de Beek has been dropped from new coach Louis van Gaal's squad for next week’s World Cup qualifiers but Steven Bergwijn and Denzel Dumfries are recalled.
The coach announced changes for the three Group G matches away to Norway on Sep 1 and at home to Montenegro on Sep 4 and Turkey three days later at a news conference on Friday (Aug 27).
Van Gaal said he was only selecting players who had played this season and had gained match fitness and the 24-year-old Van de Beek had not yet featured for Manchester United this term.
Bergwijn was left out of the initial squad last week but has been added after impressive performances in Tottenham Hotspur's opening league games, while Dumfries, one of the Dutch’s side stellar players at Euro 2020, was belatedly chosen after making his debut as a late substitute for Inter Milan last weekend.
Van Gaal said he had spoken to Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk about resuming the captaincy of the team after almost a year out through injury, including missing the Euros.
“I found it a very interesting talk but you will see if he is my captain. I’ve always had the habit of naming three captains, and you’ll see that in the coming week,” he added.
Van Gaal also said he had not yet settled on his lineup for Wednesday’s match in Oslo.
“It depends on the quality of Norway, of ourselves and the availability of players. That we still wait to see. How do they arrive at the squad? Do they test positive for the coronavirus? I cannot make any decisions just yet,” he said.
Van Gaal, 70, will be starting his third tenure as national team coach after replacing Frank de Boer, who resigned after the Dutch lost in the last 16 of the European Championship.