Rene van de Kerkhof picks his Netherlands starting XI the World Cup

Rene van der Kerkhof has picked the starting XI he’d field at the World Cup if he was the Netherlands manager, calling for Louis van Gaal to change formations.

As he did in 2014, Van Gaal has switched from a traditional 4-3-3 formation to a 3-5-2 formation ahead of the World Cup, and the team have been successful in the matches they’ve played using the system thus far.

Nevertheless, Van der Kerkhof would prefer the team to every to the previous setup and informed Voetbal International of which players he’d pick to play in it.

“For me, Jasper Cillessen is the best goalkeeper at the moment,” he began.

“He has a good appearance and has of course been with the selection for years. I think that he’s a goalkeeper to rely on, especially now that he’s going well at NEC.

His backline consists of Denzel Dumfries, Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil van Dijk and Tyrell Malacia. He’d still like Daley Blind to play too, but in midfield.

“I know that coach Louis van Gaal is thinking of a 5-3-2 formation, but I keep it at 4-3-3 with Blind in midfield,” he added.

Alongside Blind and Frenkie de Jong, he picks Davy Klaassen, who he feels should also play more at Ajax.

“Davy Klaassen is also part of the midfield, I think he should always play at Ajax,” said Van de Kerkhof.

“Klaassen deserves a starting place based on his qualities and his commitment.”

Up front, alongside star players Memphis Depay and Steven Bergwijn, the Netherlands legend opts for Cody Gakpo, who he is hugely excited about.

I think he will be the revelation of the World Cup. He can play football so well, against top teams he always plays well. I can see him excelling at the World Cup and thus becoming the surprise of the tournament,” he stated.


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