Frank de Boer finds it difficult that he had to pass Kevin Strootman at the Dutch national team. The midfielder of Olympique Marseille was not invited to the Orange squad for the first time in years.
‘Klaassen’s development looks very good’
Thirty-year-old Strootman made his international debut in February 2011. Since then, he was only missing in the Orange selection due to injury or the European Championship with the Juniors in 2013. De Boer is the first national coach to pass him in almost ten years.
“I have already discussed the situation with him during the previous training camp. His situation at Marseille is not really rosy. He has played maybe one half in ten games in total. That is not good for the Dutch national team and also not for him”, explains De Boer.
“I already said then: ‘If the situation does not change, then I will choose other people for a moment.’ At the moment that situation has not changed. I called him two days ago and we discussed it with each other.”
According to De Boer, his choice does not necessarily mean that we will never see Strootman in Orange again. “He is important in the squad. I also attach great importance to that, but football is always leading. Let’s hope his situation improves in the coming months. Then he will automatically come back into the picture.”
Kevin Strootman during his Dutch debut against Austria in 2011. (Photo: ANP)
Unlike Strootman, Davy Klaassen does belong to the selection of Orange. The 27-year-old midfielder has made an impression since he returned to Ajax this summer and can hope for his first international match since October 2017.
“He had already developed very well at Werder Bremen, but how he is manifesting himself at the moment looks very good”, says De Boer about Klaassen. “Because of his good playing, he came into the picture very emphatically.”
The Netherlands will practice on Wednesday in the Johan Cruijff ArenA against Spain (kick-off 8.45 p.m.). The Nations League match against Bosnia and Herzegovina will follow in the same stadium on Sunday, November 15, after which the group stage of the Nations League will be concluded on Wednesday, November 18 with a confrontation in Chorzów against Poland.