Janssen, Letschert debut in Netherlands football squad

The Hague, March 19 (IANS) AZ Alkmaar striker Vincent Janssen and FC Utrecht defender Timo Letschert have received their first call-up for the Netherlands football squad.

The Netherlands coach Danny Blind on Friday named the two debutants in a squad of 25 players for the forthcoming friendlies against France and England. AZ forward Janssen scored 19 Eredivisie goals this season, with which he is the Dutch league’s joint top scorer with PSV striker Luuk de Jong, also selected, reports Xinhua.

“I see Janssen has an enormous drive, combined with the ability to score,” Blind said during a press conference in Zeist on Friday.

“Letschert also made a good impression this year. He is a complete defender. These two boys deserved a chance.”

Captain Arjen Robben is absent due to a thigh injury, while Robin van Persie was left out of the squad for sportive reasons, just like he was in November last year.

“Van Persie has improved since last year, but has to get better,” Blind told on the 32-year-old Fenerbahce striker. “Although he gets more minutes now, he is still having difficulties.”

On Monday the Dutch national team, which did not qualify for Euro 2016, will start its preparation for the matches against France on March 25 in Amsterdam and against England on March 29 at Wembley Stadium in London.

Full Netherlands squad for friendlies against France and England:

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Kenneth Vermeer (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Jeroen Zoet (PSV Eindhoven).

Defenders: Jeffrey Bruma (PSV), Jetro Willems (PSV), Ron Vlaar (AZ), Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle United), Erik Pieters (Stoke City), Timo Letschert (FC Utrecht), Virgil van Dijk (Southampton), Joel Veltman (Ajax).

Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Southampton), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Riechedly Bazoer (Ajax), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United), Davy Propper (PSV), Daley Blind (Manchester United).

Forwards: Memphis Depay (Manchester United), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Vincent Janssen (AZ), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Jurgen Locadia (PSV), Luciano Narsingh (PSV), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow).

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