Liverpool star Cody Gakpo one of FIVE players to leave Netherlands camp after virus outbreak
- Botman and De Ligt also out of squad
- Euro 2024 qualifiers opened against France
- Koeman's first game back at the helm
WHAT HAPPENED? The Dutch football federation announced on Thursday morning that several members of Ronald Koeman’s squad were having to withdraw from Euro 2024 qualification duty. Alongside Gakpo, Sven Botman, Matthijs de Ligt, Joey Veerman and Bart Verbruggen have also been forced to pull out of a meeting with France on Friday.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Netherlands have already lost Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Ajax forward Steven Bergwijn to injury, with Koeman needing to get creative with his selection as he prepares to open his second spell in charge of the Oranje – having previously left to take charge at Camp Nou in 2020.
AND WHAT'S MORE: With his ranks severely depleted, Koeman has called up Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, Inter Milan defender Stefan de Vrij and Vitesse Arnhem goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen as replacements.
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WHAT NEXT? After facing 2022 World Cup finalists France in Paris, the Dutch will then take in a home date with Group B minnows Gibraltar on Monday.