Netherlands Euro 2024 squad review: A fresh and young squad set to excite on the continent

It was a testing qualifying group for the Netherlands Euro 2024 squad, with the Oranje having to compete against France for top spot. However, the Dutch managed to secure second spot by winning six of their eight games.

Granted, the Netherlands lost both matches against France in the process, so being drawn into the same group for the finals is an unwelcome twist. Regardless, the Dutch are certainly dark horses to go all the way, with Ronald Koeman taking a young side that is rounded off well by a sprinkle of experience.

Netherlands Euro 2024 squad
The Netherlands have a good mixture of experience and youth in their squad – Photo by Icon Sport

Netherlands – Key stats

A dominant nation when it comes to football, the Netherlands are one-time winners of the European championship – back in 1988 – and are set to appear at their 11th competition. But aside from their victory in the late 80's, Oranje are yet to venture to another Euro final since that memorable win.

First professional fixture: 1905

Nickname: Oranje

Current FIFA ranking: 7

Highest FIFA ranking: 1

Best Euro performance: Winners (1988)

Player to watch: Xavi Simons

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk is set to captain his country in back-to-back international tournaments – Photo by Icon Sport

Full Netherlands Euro 2024 squad

Koeman is heading to Germany with a pretty much full-strength squad at his disposal, which has heightened expectations surrounding the Netherlands. Players well-known to Premier League fans such as Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay are set to start this summer.

Goalkeeper

  • Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord)
  • Mark Flekken (Brentford)
  • Bart Verbruggen (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Defence

  • Nathan Ake (Manchester City)
  • Daley Blind (Girona)
  • Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
  • Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan)
  • Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen)
  • Lusharel Geertruida (Feyenoord)
  • Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich)
  • Ian Maatsen (Borussia Dortmund)
  • Micky van de Ven (Tottenham Hotspur)
  • Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan)

Midfield

  • Ryan Gravenberch (Liverpol)
  • Tijjani Reijnders (AC Milan)
  • Jerdy Schouten (PSV Eindhoven)
  • Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig)
  • Joey Veerman (PSV Eindhoven)
  • Georginio Wijnaldum (Al-Ettifaq)

Attack

  • Steven Bergwijn (Ajax)
  • Brian Brobbey (Ajax)
  • Memphis Depay (Atletico Madrid)
  • Cody Gakpo (Liverpool)
  • Donyell Mallen (Borussia Dortmund)
  • Wout Weghorst (Hoffenheim)
Dutch international Georginio Wijnaldum
Despite playing in Saudi Arabia, Georginio Wijnaldum has kept his spot in the Netherlands national side – Photo by Icon Sport

Surprise inclusions in the Netherlands Euro 2024 squad

Georginio Wijnaldum (Al-Ettifaq)

Despite having 91 caps to his name, it is a slight surprise to see Georginio Wijnaldum named in Koeman's provisional squad. This is mainly due to the fact he's plying his trade out in Saudi Arabia, and even more worryingly, it's for a side who've lost 10 games this season.

It remains to be seen if Wijnaldum will make the final 26-man squad, but if he does then starts will be hard to come by, and may well be brought along for his experience and leadership off the pitch.

Steven Bergwijn (Ajax)

The Ajax captain's form has coincided with a shocking season for the club, which ultimately saw them fail to qualify for the Champions League. Before a hat-trick against Almere City on the penultimate game of the campaign, it was just nine Eredivisie goals for Steven Bergwijn.

With that poor form and an inability to stay fit for a prolonged period of time during the second half of the season, it's a surprise Bergwijn has been handed a lifeline by Koeman. This could perhaps be an indictment of the lack of options offensively for the Netherlands, but Bergwijn can count himself lucky.

Netherlands' Jeremie Frimpong
Jeremie Frimpong enters Euro 2024 as a Bundesliga and DFB Pokal Cup winner – Photo by Icon Sport

In-form players for the Netherlands

Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen)

It's a testament to the quality of the Netherlands' squad that Frimpong has just two caps by 23. The Bayer Leverkusen star finished the season as a Bundesliga champion, Europa League finalist and DFB Pokal winner.

This is in addition to 26 goal involvements across all competitions, so Koeman will be keen to fit him into his side. One thing Frimpong has on his side is his versatility, with the Dutch international playing in four positions this season so may be utilised in countless roles.

Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig)

Xavi Simons now looks to be one of the undroppable players this summer for Koeman despite being just 21, which highlights his massive potential. Having starred for RB Leipzig with 25 goal involvements, it would be criminal to not have him on the pitch as often as possible.

Simons has started 10 of the Netherlands' last 12 matches, so is a crucial cog in their side. His ability to occupy space in between the lines and come in from out wide could serve the Dutch well and help them go deep into the tournament.

Netherlands international Xavi Simons
Xavi Simons is a key player for the Netherlands despite his tinder age – Photo by Icon Sport

Netherlands predicted Euro 2024 XI

Netherlands vs Poland

(4-3-3) Verbruggen, Blind, Van Dijk, Ake, Dumfries, Reijnders, Veerman, Koopmeiners, Gakpo, Weghorst, Simons

If the Netherlands can pick up three points in their opening game it would put them in a great position to advance ahead of or behind France. Koeman has often switched between a 4-3-3 and a three-at-the-back formation, but we believe a more front-footed approach is needed against an aging Poland side.

Netherlands vs France

(3-4-1-2) Verbruggen, Ake, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Blind, Schouten, Veerman, Dumfries, Gakpo, Depay, Malen

Without a doubt, this will be the Netherlands' toughest game of the group stages against one of the favourites France. So, we can see Koeman opting for a third centre-back to try and nullify Kylian Mbappe and co.

The focal point of the attack is likely to change here with Weghorst ineffective against France in the qualifying group stages, so quicker players to play on the counter-attack will be required.

Netherlands vs Austria

(4-3-3) Verbruggen, Ake, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Dumfries, Schouten, Veerman, Reijnders, Simons, Malen, Frimpong

Depending on how both Austria and Poland have performed, it could come down to this match. Even if the Netherlands are already booked into the knockout stages, they should be looking to garner as much momentum as possible and put Austria to the sword.

This is why we believe Koeman will go for a very attacking 4-3-3 lineup and look to pin Austria back, while also hurting them with pace in behind, as their opponents look to land a sucker punch on the Dutch.


Aaron is a multi-skilled sports content writer and media professional. He is a specialist in both Men's and Women's football, along with golf.