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  • Writer's pictureSwathi

Lucky11| FIFA World Cup: Netherlands Squad Analysis

As the Netherlands get ready for their first World Cup since 2014, who has received the nod from head coach Louis van Gaal?

After skipping the 2018 World Cup, the Netherlands are back this year, and head coach Louis van Gaal is optimistic they can surprise and advance. The Dutch have advanced to three World Cup finals in the past, but they have never been able to win the prized trophy since they have lost each time at the very last minute.

Could this be the moment when they fully overcome their suffering? If they want to accomplish that, they must first defeat opponents in the group stages such as the hosts Qatar, Ecuador, and Senegal before facing off against the top teams later on.

Even if the 2010 champions lack some of the skills that Brazil and France do, the Dutch team has some promising young players.

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Justin Bijlow
Justin Bijlow

Possibly the Dutch team's weakest link.

After his injury propensity and lackluster performance at the start of the season forced Van Gaal to consider alternative possibilities, Justin Bijlow appears to be in a pole position to don the No. 1 jersey once more. Prior first preference Unexpectedly, Jasper Cillessen was completely overlooked, and Mark Flekken, another contender, was also passed over.

During the international break in September, Remko Pasveer received the go-ahead and was chosen together with Andries Noppert.

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk

The Netherlands hasn't always had a plethora of options at the back, but the current set of players appears to have the majority of its famous players playing defense.

At Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk, at Bayern Munich's Matthijs de Ligt, at Manchester City's Nathan Ake, at Inter's Stefan de Vrij and Denzel Dumfries, and at Manchester United's Tyrell Malacia. And that doesn't even take into account the incoming next generation.

Jurrien Timber, who turned down a transfer to Manchester United in favor of a protracted stay at Ajax, is perhaps the greatest young defender in the league.


The days of Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart are long gone, but that doesn't mean the Netherlands lacks great midfielders.

Despite his troubles at Barcelona, which seem to have less to do with his talent and more to do with the club's financial position, Frenkie de Jong is still among the greatest when he is on. Teun Koopmeiners and Marten de Roon of Atalanta aren't the most outstanding athletes, but they are aware of what is needed at the highest level thanks to their success in Serie A.

Then there are the young, talented Eredivisie players that are both chosen, like Kenneth Taylor and Xavi Simons. The recent form of Simons in particular has been outstanding, and his unique X-factor has persuaded Van Gaal to include him.

The lack of playing time at Man Utd has cost Donny van de Beek and owing to a leg fracture, Roma midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum will not travel to Qatar. Ryan Gravenberch of Bayern Munich has also been left off the 26-man roster.

Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay is still an unquestionable starter for Van Gaal even though Robert Lewandowski's arrival at Barcelona may force him to accept a supporting role.

However, his recent lack of playing time due to injury is not ideal, and he will not start in Oranje's opening match against Senegal. When healthy, Steven Bergwijn, who has rejuvenated his career at Ajax following a disappointing stint at Tottenham, will probably team up top with Memphis.

Although they may not be the most skilled options, strikers like Vincent Janssen, Luuk de Jong, and Wout Weghorst have all been selected because they each bring something unique to the table.

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