Ronald Koeman puts trust in Dutch youth, Justin Kluivert given first call-up
New Dutch coach Ronald Koeman on Friday trimmed the size of his squad for friendlies against England and Portugal this month but kept a quintet of newcomers who are in line for a first cap.
Ajax teenager Kluivert, Italian-based midfielder Hans Hateboer and the AZ Alkmaar trio of Marco Bizot, Guus Til and Wout Weghorst will join up with the squad for the first time as the Dutch, who have not qualified for this year’s World Cup, host Russia-bound England in Amsterdam on March 23.
The Dutch then go to Geneva to meet Portugal, who have also qualified for the World Cup, three days later.
Koeman, who named as 33-man preliminary squad last week, dropped Manchester United's Daley Blind, Darryl Janmaat from Watford and PSV Eindhoven striker Luuk de Jong, leaving the Dutch league leaders with just goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet in the squad.
Former Everton manager Koeman was appointed the new Dutch coach in February, seeking to turn around the fortunes of a country who were third at the last World Cup but have slide dramatically since.
Goalkeepers: Marco Bizot (AZ Alkmaar), Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Jeroen Zoet (PSV Eindhoven)
Defenders: Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax Amsterdam), Stefan de Vrij (Lazio), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace), Kenny Tete (Olympique Lyonnais), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Marten de Roon, Hans Hateboer (both Atalanta), Davy Propper (Brighton and Hove Albion), Kevin Strootman (Roma), Guus Til (AZ Alkmaar), Donny van de Beek (Ajax Amsterdam), Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
Forwards: Ryan Babel (Besiktas), Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyonnais), Bas Dost (Sporting Lisbon), Justin Kluivert (Ajax Amsterdam), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow), Wout Weghorst (AZ Alkmaar). (Reporting by Mark Gleeson Editing by Keith Weir)