The Gravenberch Controversy: What Dutch Coaches Really Think

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Dutch Coaches Unimpressed with Midfielder’s Decision

A Complex Decision

Ryan Gravenberch, the 21-year-old midfield sensation, has found himself in hot water with Dutch U21s coach Michael Reiziger and senior team boss Ronald Koeman. The young talent opted to skip the Dutch U21s’ European Championship qualifiers against Moldova and North Macedonia. His reason? To settle into his new life in Liverpool following a €40 million Deadline Day move from Bayern Munich.

Michael Reiziger’s Take

Michael Reiziger, the man at the helm of the Dutch U21s, didn’t mince words when discussing Gravenberch’s decision. “I’ve made it clear to him that I don’t think it’s a wise choice,” Reiziger stated. “Ryan is a good lad, but he’s got this one wrong.”

Reiziger emphasised the importance of playing for the national team with passion and commitment. “It’s an honour to represent your country. You should want to be here, and that’s crucial for me,” he added. The coach is now contemplating what this means for Gravenberch’s future involvement with both the U21s and the senior team.

Ronald Koeman Weighs In

Not one to be left out of the conversation, Ronald Koeman, the senior Dutch national team coach, also expressed his dissatisfaction. He cited the example of Jeremie Frimpong of Bayer Leverkusen, who had previously declined a call-up to the Dutch U21s and is now absent from the senior squad. “It’s a form of consequence,” Koeman noted. “We’re not pleased with Ryan’s decision, and it could impact his progression to the senior team.”

The Road Ahead

Gravenberch’s decision to focus on acclimatising to Liverpool could have far-reaching implications for his international career. Both Reiziger and Koeman have made it clear that they value commitment to the national team. As Gravenberch navigates his new chapter in Liverpool, he’ll have to consider how to mend bridges back home.

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