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Van Persie dropped for Netherlands friendlies

Netherlands coach Danny Blind maintains the national team door is not closed to Robin van Persie after the experienced striker was left out of the squad for two friendlies this month.

Fenerbahce player Van Persie was stripped of the captaincy by Blind during a dismal Euro 2016 qualification campaign that saw the Dutch miss out on a place at the finals in France next year.

The former Manchester United star also scored an own-goal in the Netherlands’ qualification finale against Czech Republic as Blind’s men signed off a woeful campaign with a 3-2 loss in Amsterdam.

And Van Persie – who dismissed the notion of international retirement after the defeat – has not been called up for friendlies against Wales and Germany this month.

However, Blind maintained a recall is possible for the ex-Arsenal man, telling reporters: “I think Robin, after his transfer to Turkey last summer, has struggled to find his rhythm.

“He still doesn’t play full games. That’s not a good sign. I do not see him playing well, he is not sharp and not fresh and this is not good, because Van Persie is still potentially my best striker.

“If he is fit for the next internationals, I will probably select him.”

There is no place for Manchester United’s Memphis Depay either, while Blind acknowledged defeat in his attempts to coax in-form Feyenoord forward Dirk Kuyt out of international retirement.

Riechedly Bazoer misses out, after his maiden call-up for the final qualifiers, although Feyenoord midfielder Marko Vejinovic could make his debut this month.


Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Maarten Stekelenburg (Southampton), Kenneth Vermeer (Feyenoord), Jeroen Zoet (PSV).

Defenders: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton), Daley Blind (Manchester United), Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle United), Terence Kongolo (Feyenoord), Jeffrey Bruma (PSV), Karim Rekik (Olympique Marseille), Jairo Riedewald (Ajax), Kenny Tete (Ajax), Joel Veltman (Ajax).

Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Southampton), Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Marko Vejinovic (Feyenoord), Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United).

Forwards: Bas Dost (Wolfsburg), Eljero Elia (Feyenoord), Anwar El Ghazi (Ajax), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).

Mon 2 Nov, 2015
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