Netherlands named young prospects Cody Gakpo and Jurriem Timber in a provisional 34-man squad for next month’s European Championship but coach Frank de Boer surprisingly left out veteran striker Ryan Babel on Friday.
It is a first call-up for PSV Eindhoven attacker Gakpo and Ajax Amserdam defender Timber, who have both made a strong impression in the second half of the Dutch league season.
De Boer also recalled Aston Villa forward Anwar El Ghazi and AS Roma defender Rick Karsdorp. He will cut his squad to 26 players on May 26, the Dutch FA said. Babel, 34, had been a regular for De Boer and was a notable omission when the provisional squad was released.
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Daley Blind, who suffered a serious knee injury in March and is battling to be fit for the tournament, was included, along with 38-year-old goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, just days after extending his contract with champion Ajax.
Earlier this week, captain Virgil van Dijk said he would not try to return from injury at Euro 2020 but instead concentrate on being fit for the next Premier League season with Liverpool.
Netherlands is in Group C with Austria, North Macedonia and Ukraine and is expected to reach the knockout stages quite easily.