De Jong gets 1st Netherlands call-up, Sneijder gets last
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman opted for something old and something new Friday in naming his squad for upcoming matches against Peru and World Cup champion France.
Koeman picked 21-year-old Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong for the first time and called up veteran Wesley Sniejder for one final farewell.
The Dutch team will face Peru in a friendly on Sept. 6 before taking on France in the Nations League three days later.
The 21-year-old De Jong is one of the most exciting prospects to emerge from Ajax in recent years. He already has been linked with a possible move to Barcelona but said this week he plans to remain in Amsterdam this season.
Sneijder, meanwhile, will play his record 134th match for the Netherlands against Peru in Amsterdam in what will be his final appearance. The team will then face France in Saint-Denis without him.
Koeman is rebuilding his squad after the Netherlands failed to qualify for the last two major international tournaments. His 25-man roster includes Liverpool players Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum as well as 19-year-old Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt.
Koeman’s team announcement came in a week when both Ajax and PSV Eindhoven survived preliminary rounds to reach the main draw of the Champions League, offering a glimmer of hope of a return to form for the three-time World Cup runner-up national team.
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Jeroen Zoet (PSV Eindhoven), Sergio Padt (Groningen)
Defenders: Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Daley Blind (Ajax), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Daryl Janmaat (Watford), Kenny Tete (Lyon), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan)
Midfielders: Wesley Sneijder (Al-Gharafa), Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Davy Proepper (Brighton), Frenkie de Jong (Ajax), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Kevin Strootman (Marseille), Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Ruud Vormer (Club Brugge), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
Forwards: Ryan Babel (Besiktas), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Luuk de Jong (PSV Eindhoven), Justin Kluivert (Roma), Quincy Promes (Sevilla)