The preliminary Netherlands World Cup squad is to be announced on Friday, it has been confirmed.
While the Oranje starting XI is largely set heading into the World Cup, it’s very much unclear what the squad will look like beyond that, with a number of question marks.
Fitness issues kept Noa Lang, Donyell Malen, Arnaut Danjuma and Luuk de Jong out of the most recent squad, and Van Gaal said they’d have to impress at club level if they wanted to make it back in.
Danjuma has done just that, performing well for Villareal, but Lang has been dropped by Club Brugge, Malen has struggled at Borussia Dortmund and De Jong has yet to return from injury.
Two players who’ve been impressing more than most Dutch players in the world are Jeremie Frimpong and Xavi Simons, both of whom were also absent from the last squad. There have been widespread calls for Van Gaal to take them both to Qatar, and given how good they’ve been, it would be disappointing if he didn’t.
Many would also like to see Sven Botman included given his form for Newcastle, but the manager has previously suggested that he won’t be selecting a sixth central defender.
All of the above are likely to make it into the preliminary squad at the very least, but Georginio Wijnaldum and Bruno Martins-Indi won’t with both unavailable through injury.