Wim Kieft hopes Steven Berghuis starts ahead of Teun Koopmeiners at World Cup

Wim Kieft says Steven Berghuis rather than Teun Koopmeiners should start alongside Frenkie de Jong in the group stages of the World Cup.

Koopmeiners was forced off with a head injury at the start of the Netherlands’ last match against Poland and Berghuis was brought in his place.

Playing in a deeper role, the Ajax man was hugely impressive, creating a number of attacks and chances for his side, more so than any other player.

Former Netherlands international Kieft thought he was very good, and thinks he should start against teams that the Dutch are favourites against such as their World Cup group stage opponents.

“It will all be rather static at Oranje [if Koopmeiners plays next to De Jong],” he wrote in his De Telegraaf column.

“No problem in big matches, but you can and should play more offensively against small ones such as Poland and at the World Cup in the group stage against Senegal, Qatar and Ecuador.

“The proof of this was provided by the Dutch national team against Poland. It was all very nice to watch, especially in the first half. With Berghuis in midfield, something always happens. He brings energy, thinks ahead and often finds the right solution in a small space.”

That being said, he’s less confident about Berghuis in matches against stronger opponents, feeling he struggles when afforded less time on the ball.

“He needs time to make the right choices. In other words: opponents of a level like Liverpool last week don’t give him time in midfield to make the right choices,” he added.


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