De Jong Rejoins Dutch Squad for Training, Yet His Participation in Euro 2024 Opener Remains Uncertain

Frenkie de Jong, currently rehabilitating an ankle injury, tentatively rejoined the Dutch squad for non-contact drills. His participation in the upcoming Euro 2024 opener against Poland remains uncertain.

Including De Jong in the 26-man team, Ronald Koeman selected him despite his lack of recent playtime, having missed matches for Barcelona following an injury sustained in a bout against Real Madrid on April 21.

Throughout the 2023-24 season, De Jong contributed to 30 matches for Barcelona, yet the team finished below expectations, trailing significantly behind Madrid in LaLiga standings and being ousted by PSG in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Since his 2018 debut, De Jong has been pivotal for the Oranje squad. Koeman remains hopeful that De Jong will recover in time to contribute in subsequent Group D games versus France and Austria even if sidelined for the Poland clash next Sunday.

“He joined the team training with restrictions to avoid physical contact,” Koeman remarked during the pre-game briefing before taking on Iceland this Monday.

“There’s a chance Frenkie might sit out the first encounter, yet he could possibly play in the second or third,” Koeman continued. “We’ll support him even if his return is delayed into the second or third game.”

If, however, his recovery does not permit any group stage participation, Koeman mentioned he might reassess De Jong’s standing on the squad.

With De Jong sidelined, Jerdy Schouten from PSV was spotted in midfield alongside Georginio Wijnaldum and Ryan Gravenbech as the Dutch dismantled Canada 4-0 in a Thursday’s friendly.

Regarding the squad’s overall shape, Koeman noted, “Some players had ended their seasons early to rejuvenate. A few weren’t prepared for a complete match, but the team has been training vigorously in preparation for a dynamic start at Euro 2024.”

This year’s tournament marks the Netherlands’ 11th appearance. Their solitary triumph on this stage was in Germany, back in 1988. No team but Germany has outpaced the Oranje’s four semifinal appearances since their 1988 victory. Their last semifinal run was in 2004.

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