Thursday, July 25, 2024

De Jong and Barcelona equally responsible for injury, says Koeman

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Jun 2024

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Ronald Koeman says Frenkie de Jong and Barcelona are equally responsible for the Netherlands midfielder missing out on Euro 2024 through injury.

De Jong was ruled out of the tournament after failing to recover from an ankle injury sustained during Barca’s Clasico defeat by Real Madrid on April 21.

The 27-year-old was named in the provisional Dutch squad, but it was confirmed he would play no part following their final warm-up match against Iceland on Monday.

Koeman initially criticised the Blaugrana’s handling of De Jong’s injury and, on Wednesday, said the issue “also depends on the player himself”.

However, the Netherlands head coach is keen to move forward, with the Oranje opening their Group D campaign against Poland on Sunday.

“There is little point in answering questions about topics that are no longer current,” he told reporters in Wolfsburg. “We haven’t talked about it since we got here.”

“Of course, it also depends on the player himself. I have also spoken to Frenkie about this, but that remains between me and the player. I have a little more inside information, but I’m done with it now.”

Borussia Dortmund’s Ian Maatsen was called up in De Jong’s place, though Koeman opted not to draft in a replacement for Teun Koopmeiners, who was also ruled out of Euro 2024 with a groin injury.

Explaining his reasons, the head coach said: “Ian was already in the pre-selection, he is a multi-functional player who has only been out of action for a week. All other options have been gone for three weeks, I don’t know where they all are.

“Within these 25 remaining players, we can go in any direction. We play with three midfielders and we have five. And you can always move someone one spot back, or someone from the back one line forward.

“It will never be an excuse in this tournament, no matter what happens, not to have called up a 26th player.”

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