According to a report by Roger Gonzalez of CBS Sports, a person close to 18-year-old dual national full-back Sergino Dest says that he is leaning towards committing to the Netherlands over the United States and will choose to represent the Dutch national team if he feels there is room for him in the depth chart.
Gonzalez’s latest report states that Dest will only choose to represent the United States at the senior level if he does not feel there is a chance he would be called up regularly to the Oranje.
While the Dutch side is absolutely stacked in central defense with the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij, Nathan Ake, and more, they are far more thin at the full-back position. The country’s most recent competitive match – a Euro 2020 qualifier against Belarus – featured a pair of Dest’s Ajax teammates starting with Daley Blind on the left and Joel Veltman on the right, while Crystal Palace full-back Patrick Van Aanholt and PSV breakout star Denzel Dumfries were available on the bench.
Both Veltman and Blind are extremely versatile players who could easily slide elsewhere to make room for Dest. Blind in particular can play center-back and central midfield in addition to his aptitude out wide – in fact he hasn’t played full-back at the club level once this campaign, mostly deployed in central defense with a few appearances further up the pitch. The two have often partnered in central defense for Ajax this season.
Outside of those four first-choice full-backs, the Netherlands has just Atalanta’s Hans Hateboer and Lyon’s Kenny Tate waiting in the wings at that position. Otherwise, the slots are wide open.
Dest has proficiency on either side, but prefers the right where he has seen action in nine of Ajax’s 11 Eredivisie matches this season and has logged full 90-minute performances in all three of their Champions League group stage matches.
The teen was born in the Netherlands to an American father, leaving him with a choice to make at the national team level. Dest represented the United States at the youth level and made two appearances for the senior squad, but as both matches were friendlies, he was not cap-tied to the nation. Dest recently refused call-ups to both the United States and Netherlands in the last international break, avoiding a competitive appearance for either side wanting more time to make his decision.