Liverpool’s Ryan Gravenberch out of international exile, confirms Ronald Koeman
The punishment is over.
This was frowned upon by the national team’s management, with the 21-year-old not picked for either the senior or Under-21 side in the October internationals.
Ahead of games against Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar this month, Koeman says Gravenberch is back in contention, partly understanding his decision, but saying it could not go unpunished.
On the Liverpool man’s exile, Koeman told Ziggo Sport Voetbal: ‘No, that’s over. Whether his withdrawal was understandable? Maybe, but I actually think that he was able to get the matches at the Dutch juniors that he did not play before.
‘Of course, there is something to be said for him being like that, but I think that we at the KNVB should never be happy if someone does not opt-out for a good reason. I was also a football player, but you have to draw a line.
‘We told Ryan: “We understand it a bit, but we don’t think it’s okay. If you are called, you must come”.’
Gravenberch was struggling for game time at Bayern Munich but has impressed since arriving at Liverpool and Koeman says his international chances are likely to improve as a result.
‘If he continues to develop in this way, he will join the Dutch national team,’ said the former Everton boss. ‘I told him that I want to do it with the same group as much as possible in the coming international match.
‘We are going to qualify [for the Euros], which means we will have practice matches in March and June. He is a midfielder who is definitely in the picture if he plays more.
‘That was already the case at Bayern, but if you saw every weekend that he did not play or came on for five minutes, then it does not make sense to select him.’
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