THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) Manchester United winger Memphis Depay was left out of the Netherlands squad on Friday for a friendly against Greece followed by its first World Cup qualifier against Sweden.
Veteran strikers Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Schalke and Robin Van Persie of Fenerbahce were also omitted from coach Danny Blind’s 24-man squad, while a debut was given to 21-year-old PSV Eindhoven midfielder Jorrit Hendrix.
Blind appeared to be opting for youth over experience in the qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but that policy did not help 22-year-old Depay, who has struggled for form since moving from PSV Eindhoven to Old Trafford last year.
“It’s important for him to first focus fully on getting into the first team at Manchester United,” Blind said. “From there, he needs to play more and hopefully he will then put himself back in the picture.”
Tottenham’s new striker, Vincent Janssen, will look to continue his impressive international form – the former AZ Alkaar star has three goals in five matches since making his debut in March.
The Netherlands, which failed to qualify for the European Championship, takes on Greece on Thursday in Eindhoven, and plays its first Group A qualifier against Sweden in Solna on Sept. 6.
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Maarten Stekelenburg (Everton), Jeroen Zoet (PSV Eindhoven).
Defenders: Patrick Van Aanholt (Sunderland), Daley Blind (Manchester United), Jeffrey Bruma (Wolfsburg), Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton), Kenny Tete (Ajax), Joel Veltman (Ajax), Ron Vlaar (AZ Alkmaar), Jetro Willems (PSV).
Midfielders: Riechedly Bazoer (Ajax), Jorrit Hendrix (PSV), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Davy Proepper (PSV), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Kevin Strootman (Roma), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool).