Liverpool have reportedly been left ‘baffled’ by Ronald Koeman’s recent public condemnation of Ryan Gravenberch.
After the Reds’ deadline day signing opted out of international duty with Netherlands’ under-21s to focus on his club career, the Oranje’s senior coach made no secret of his feelings on the matter, openly criticising the 21-year-old over that decision.
As per Daily Mail, the Merseyside outfit have been left ‘baffled’ over the fiery comments from the former Everton boss and had contacted the KNVB to discuss the player’s withdrawal.
Gravenberch is also understood to have spoken with Michael Reiziger, coach of the Dutch under-21s, to explain his reasons for declining the call-up for their fixtures in this international window.
While some key figures from Netherlands might feel scorned over the midfielder’s decision, it’s ultimately his choice to make.
Having just completed a transfer to one of Europe’s biggest clubs in Liverpool, thus bringing an end to an unhappy spell at Bayern Munich which lasted little more than year, Gravenberch is quite justified in wanting to prioritise his club career at this moment in time.
Koeman is no stranger to confrontations when it comes to the often delicate club v country balance. When the 60-year-old was in charge of Everton in 2017, he was involved in a public tit-for-tat with then-Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill over the use of James McCarthy (The Guardian).
For the Netherlands boss to now publicly lash out at Liverpool’s latest signing, who at 21 is trying to come to terms with a high-profile transfer, shows a lack of class on his part. It’s a situation which could’ve been handled far more sensitively by the Oranje coach.
From the Reds’ perspective, we’re glad that Gravenberch made the choice that he did, exercising his prerogative while making it clear that he wants to focus on getting the best out of his move to Anfield instead of running the risk of injury on international duty.