Koeman sends Euro 2024 message to Ryan Gravenberch after autumn feud with Liverpool midfielder

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Ronald Koeman has spoken about the prospects of Liverpool midfielder Ryan Gravenberch featuring in the Netherlands squad for Euro 2024 next summer.

The Oranje are assured of at least a play-off place for the finals and will qualify directly with a game to spare if they win at home to Republic of Ireland on 18 November.

The Reds player infuriated his national team coach by declining a call-up to the country’s under-21 squad just after signing for his new club in September, but the Dutch boss has now declared that the 21-year-old’s exile from international selection is ‘over’ (Liverpool Echo).

Koeman has even hinted that Gravenberch could be in line to go to the tournament next June if he can obtain regular game-time at Liverpool and impress at Anfield.

Speaking to Ziggo Sport Voetbal [via Liverpool Echo], the 60-year-old said of the midfielder: “If he continues to develop in this way, he will join the Dutch national team. I told him that I want to do it with the same group as much as possible in the coming international match.

“We are going to qualify, which means we will have practice matches in March and June. He is a midfielder who is definitely in the picture if he plays more. That was already the case at Bayern, but if you saw every weekend that he did not play or came on for five minutes, then it does not make sense to select him.”

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Just over two months since joining Liverpool, Gravenberch has already accrued more than 50% of the total game-time he managed all season at Bayern Munich in 2022/23, with 573 minutes played for the Reds and only 373 more needed to match his entire tally in Bavaria (Transfermarkt).

It indicates that he was quite justified in leaving the Bundesliga champions for Anfield, where Jurgen Klopp is giving him ample opportunity to perform and to bury the hatchet with Koeman following the voluntary international withdrawal earlier in the autumn.

The 21-year-old’s displays so far for LFC suggest that his country would be foolish to overlook him for Euro 2024, despite him angering federation chiefs by opting out of the under-21 squad in September.

Koeman seems to recognise that by extending an olive branch to Gravenberch and opening the door for him to come back into the Netherlands squad, rather than letting any mutual enmity fester throughout the club season and into the tournament next June.

The Liverpool midfielder deserves to play on the grandest platform, and if he can maintain the form he’s shown in his first couple of months at Anfield, it seems far more likely than unlikely that he’ll be on the plane to Euro 2024 – assuming the Orange finish the job of qualification.

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1 Comment

  1. In the normal course of events, Koeman would be obliged to apologise to Ryan Gravenberch for using him as a scapegoat to deflect Dutch media attention from his teams terrible performances.

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