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Justin Kluivert reveals the PL clubs he’d like to join

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Okay, this is a bit different, but I applaud thinking outside the box.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

It’s not often a player comes out and names the teams he would like to join in the Premier League, but Ajax’s teenage sensation Justin Kluivert has done just that.

Kluivert, 18, is having a fine season for the Dutch giants as he follows in the footsteps of his legendary favor, Patrick. The Dutch U-21 international has scored six goals and registered four assists in 16 starts in the Eredivisie this season from the left wing, his first full campaign with the Amsterdam club.

His contract runs out in 2019 but he is said to be in talks over a new deal and is quite happy to stay at Ajax, for now…

Speaking to Dutch outlet Helden, Kluivert revealed he would be open to any of these four Premier League clubs in the future.

“England appeals to me: Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea or Manchester United are nice clubs where I can see myself playing in a few years,” Kluivert said. “If you get a nice offer, you never know.”

Well played, young Justin.

This is one of the least subtle “I’m happy with where I am right now… but you never know” statements in soccer history.

Kluivert is obviously an incredibly talented forward and the fact that he’s been in and around Ajax’s first team over the past 12-18 months says it all. He’s come through the ranks at the one of the most demanding youth academies on the planet and his pedigree is undoubted given his father was one of the finest forwards Ajax and the Netherlands ever produced.

Which would suit Kluivert best?

You’d have to say Tottenham. Mauricio Pochettino‘s record with youngsters says it all and he’d like get game time right away if he joined within the next two years as Erik Lamela, Heung-Min Son and others have blown hot and cold out wide over the past few years. Look at what Pochettino has done for Harry Kane and Dele Alli, while fellow Ajax products Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen have flourished under him at Spurs.

Much has been made of Jose Mourinho chatting with Kluivert Jnr. on the pitch after Manchester United’s Europa League final victory against Ajax last season, but would moving to Old Trafford to compete with Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford for playing time be a smart move? Nope.

Arsenal would be a better option than Chelsea for Kluivert, as the latter stockpile young talent and barely use them before loaning them out and then hopefully making a profit on the deal, while the Gunners have at least got a history of giving youngsters a chance.

But if I was Justin Kluivert I’d go to Spurs.

Ronald Koeman named new Netherlands boss

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It didn’t take Ronald Koeman too long to land another job.

The former Everton and Southampton manager was named the new head coach of the Dutch national team on Tuesday, with Koeman signing a contract through the end of the 2022 World Cup.

Holland have failed to reach the last two major tournaments (EURO 2016 and the 2018 World Cup) and have had three managers in charge since 2014 when Louis Van Gaal led them to a third-place finish at the World Cup in Brazil, then left to manage Manchester United.

Guus Hiddink, Danny Blind and Dick Advocaat all failed to reignite a national team which finished excelled at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. Now it is Koeman’s turn to usher through a new era of young, talented Dutch players.

His first game in charge of the Netherlands will be a friendly against England in Amsterdam on March 23.

Koeman is joined by Nico-Jan Hoogma who will become the sporting director in a statement released by the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) on Tuesday.

The KNVB has reached agreement with Ronald Koeman (54) about the appointment as national coach of the Dutch national team. Koeman has just signed a contract that connects him to Orange with immediate effect up to and including the World Cup 2022.

Nico-Jan Hoogma has also entered into a contract with the football association. Thanks to the cooperation of Heracles Almelo, where 49-year-old Hoogma has been working as general manager since 1 January 2007, he will be working as a director of top football in Zeist on 1 March. His contact runs until 1 July 2022.

A legend of the Dutch national team, Koeman always dreamed of being their manager as well as managing Barcelona in the future. It is likely he will have to at least lead the Netherlands to the latter stages of the 2022 World Cup for this to be deemed a success and keep his dreams of managing Barcelona alive.

His 18-month spell at Everton ended in October 2017 with the Toffees battling against relegation after he had led them to seventh place in the Premier League in the 2016-17 season. In the two seasons prior to that he led Southampton to 7th and 6th place finishes respectively, which were their highest-ever finishes in the PL.

A former player for Groningen, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord in his homeland, plus Barcelona abroad where he scored the winning goal in the 1991 European Cup final, Koeman scored 14 goals in 78 appearances for the Dutch national team and helped them win their only major title to date, the 1988 European Championships.

Koeman has also managed Vitesse Arnhem, Ajax, Benfice, PSV, Valencia, AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord with varying degrees of success.

PST’s experts predict third place match, World Cup final results

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This is it folks. It all comes down to this weekend.

With only the third-place match and the World Cup final to go, a month-long soccer extravaganza has almost come to end.

Whip those tears away. Don’t worry, the Premier League season is just around the corner. Anyway while we can still put our necks on the line, PST’s writers are predicting the outcome of the third-place match and the World Cup final which take place on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

[ RELATED: World Cup bracket ]

Brazil face the Netherlands in Brasilia on Saturday for the third-place gong and decide who gets $22 million in prize money… instead of $20 million. In the final on Sunday at the Maracana, Germany and Argentina square off for the third WC final in history to try and become Champions of the World.

Here’s the thoughts of the PST crew ahead of what promised to be a fitting finale to a sumptuous tournament of top-notch soccer. Bring on the last hurrah!

Also if you don’t agree with our picks, feel free to post your own in the comments section below.

Joe Prince-Wright

FINAL: Germany 1-2 Argentina
Third-place: Brazil 1-3 Netherlands

Mike Prindiville

FINAL: Germany 1-0 Argentina
Third-place: Brazil 4-2 Netherlands

Kyle Bonn

FINAL: Germany 1-1 Argentina (Argentina to win on PKs)
Third-place: Brazil 1-3 Netherlands

Kirsten Schlewitz

FINAL: Germany 0-0 Argentina (Germany to win on PKs)
Third-place: Brazil 5-3 Netherlands

Nicholas Mendola

FINAL: Germany 2-1 Argentina
Third-place: Brazil 2-0 Netherlands

Van Gaal confirms Krul was set for PKs, again, laments “disappointing” defeat

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In what was always going to be his penultimate game in charge of the Dutch national team, Louis van Gaal was hoping things would play out differently.

The 62-year-old manager, who will take charge of Manchester United as soon as his time at the World Cup is up, was downbeat in his post-match press conference after seeing his side beaten 4-2 on penalties after a tense 0-0 draw played out in Sao Paulo.

Three things  | Recap WC final set | 

Van Gaal confirmed in the press conference that specialist goalkeeper Tim Krul, who LVG bought on as a substitute with seconds to spare of their quarterfinal match with Costa Rica specifically to play the hero role in the penalty shootout, was going to come on to face the penalty kicks once again.

However in the 96th minute van Gaal had to burn his last sub on Robin van Persie, as the Dutch skipper was struggling to stand up after overcoming injury and illness to make the semifinal. That, looking back on it now, may have been the pivotal moment as despite Jasper Cillessen’s best efforts, the Ajax ‘keeper couldn’t keep out any of the Argentine players’ efforts.

Speaking overall about Holland crashing out, plus Krul not coming on, here’s what van Gaal had to say.

“If I had had the opportunity to substitute Cillessen I would have, but I had used my three subs. Really it [the defeat] is the most disappointing thing that could have happened. It is terrible to lose like this. At the very least we were equal to them, if not better. It is a disappointment.”

VIDEO: How the penalty kicks played out as Argentina beat Netherlands

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There is perhaps no greater feeling in soccer than the glory of winning on penalty kicks after a hard-fought 120 minutes.

Argentina’s players know that right about now.

As for the Netherlands, the agony of defeat after being five spot kicks away from a second-straight World Cup final is excruciating.

| Three things  | Recap | WC final set

Below is a run down on how each PK played out, while you can also watch the video highlights of the entire game (basically the PK shootout) below.

Argentina will now face Germany in the World Cup final, while the Netherlands will face Brazil in the third-place game on Saturday.

How the penalty kicks played out

Netherlands: The excellent Vlaar steps up but puts it straight down the middle. Romero saves. 0-0

Argentina: Messi steps up, sends Cillessen the wrong way. Cool as a cucumber. 1-0 Argentina.

Netherlands: Robben with a short run up. Closes his foot on it, puts it into the bottom corner. 1-1

Argentina: Ezequeil Garay smashes home the penalty kick. Straight down the middle. 2-1 Argentina.

Netherlands: Sneijder denied as Romero stretches full length to his right to tip it wide. 2-1 Argentina.

Argentina: Sergio Aguero sneaks the ball just under Cillessen who guessed right. 3-1 Argentina

Netherlands: Kuyt slots home coolly as the veteran kept Holland in with a chance. Argentina 3-2

Argentina: Substitute Rodriguez was the hero, despite Cillessen getting a piece of it. ARGENTINA WIN 4-2