Forward Anwar El Ghazi has pledged his allegiance to Netherlands after he was included in Danny Blind’s preliminary squad for October’s two Euro 2016 qualifiers.
El Ghazi – a regular at youth level for Netherlands – had been eligible to represent Morocco, where his parents are from, but the Ajax sensation has opted for the Dutch.
The 20-year-old, who has scored seven league goals for Ajax this season, is now set to make his debut against either Kazakhstan on October 10 or the Czech Republic three days later.
Netherlands have also included another uncapped youngster in 20-year-old Feyenoord right-back Rick Karsdorp.
Newcastle United full-back Daryl Janmaat returns to the international fold, but captain Arjen Robben and defender Stefan de Vrij are sidelined due to injuries.
Netherlands – fourth in Group A and two points adrift of the play-off spot – face an uphill battle to qualify for next year’s tournament in France, with the Dutch needing to win both matches in October and hope results elsewhere go their way.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax Amsterdam), Tim Krul (Newcastle United), Kenneth Vermeer (Feyenoord), Jeroen Zoet (PSV Eindhoven)
Defenders: Daley Blind (Manchester United), Jeffrey Bruma (PSV Eindhoven), Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle United), Rick Karsdorp, Terence Kongolo (both Feyenoord), Karim Rekik (Olympique Marseille), Jairo Riedewald, Kenny Tete (both Ajax Amsterdam), Virgil van Dijk (Glasgow Celtic), Joel Veltman (Ajax Amsterdam)
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City), Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United), Davy Klaassen (Ajax Amsterdam), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United).
Forwards: Luuk de Jong (PSV Eindhoven), Memphis Depay (Manchester United), Bas Dost (VfL Wolfsburg), Anwar El Ghazi (Ajax Amsterdam), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Jeremain Lens (Sunderland), Luciano Narsingh (PSV Eindhoven), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Robin van Persie (Fenerbahce)
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