AMSTERDAM : New Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal sprung several surprises in his first squad after returning to the helm of the Dutch national team as they bid to qualify for next year's World Cup after a disappointing European Championship.
The veteran coach, taking charge of the side for a third time, handed teenager defender Devyne Rensch, the 21-year-old left back Tyrell Malacia and 37-year-old goalkeeper Remko Pasveer first call-ups while Virgil van Dijk returns to a 25-man squad after a long-term absence.
"Everyone knows that the international match week in September is very important and the preparation time is very short. That means that we need players who are at a good level of fitness already," said Van Gaal in a statement on Friday.
"Not all clubs and players are equally far in their pre-season preparation, so I have to take that into account in deciding on the squad, but I want to emphasise that everyone is and will remain in my vision."
Van Gaal included three other goalkeepers in addition to Pasveer with Justin Bijlow, Joel Drommel and Tim Krul. Veteran Maarten Stekelenburg, who played at the European Championship in June, has ended his international career.
Midfielder Guus Til returns after winning a single cap in 2018 while Van Dijk played his last international match in October last years, before suffering his serious cruciate ligament injury.
From the European Championship squad of predecessor Frank de Boer, Van Gaal left out Jasper Cillessen, Luuk de Jong, Denzel Dumfries, Quincy Promes, Patrick van Aanholt, Joel Veltman and Owen Wijndal.
De Boer quit after the Dutch lost to the Czech Republic in the last-16 of the tournament.
The Dutch play three World Cup qualifiers in the space of seven days, at Norway on Sept. 1, and then home to Montenegro on Sept. 4 and Turkey on Sept. 7.
Goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Joel Drommel (PSV Eindhoven), Tim Krul (Norwich City), Remco Pasveer (Ajax Amsterdam)
Defenders: Nathan Aké (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax Amsterdam), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan), Tyrell Malacia (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Devyne Rensch, Jurrien Timber (both Ajax Amsterdam), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax Amsterdam), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Davy Klaassen (Ajax Amsterdam), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ) Alkmaar), Guus Til (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Donny van de Beek (Manchester United), Georginio Wijnaldum (Paris St Germain)
Forwards: Steven Berghuis (Ajax Amsterdam), Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Cody Gakpo (PSV Eindhoven), Donyell Malen (Borussia Dortmund), Wout Weghorst (VfL Wolfsburg).
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)