ROBIN VAN PERSIE has been axed from Danny Blind’s provisional 23-man Holland squad for two forthcoming friendlies.
The 32-year-old striker, who is likely to lead Fenerbahce against Celtic in the final Europa League tie on December 10, is his nation’s leading scorer with 50 goals from 101 internationals.
However, the frontman’s career has faltered since quitting Manchester United for Turkey in the summer and he is the first major casualty after the Dutch side’s failure to qualify for next year’s European Championship.Blind said he did not think Van Persie was “playing well” for the Hoops’ Euro rivals, but added that he could still be called up in the future if he returns to full fitness.
In his last game, Van Persie scored an own goal when he came on as a first-half substitute in the 3-2 flop against the Czech Republic, the defeat that meant his country failed to qualify for a major tournament for the first time since 2002.
Manchester United’s Memphis Depay has also been dropped by Blind, who said: “In football, you must function in a team. He doesn’t always do that.”
Former Celtic centre-half Virgil van Dijk, who joined Southampton in August, has been included along with team-mates Maarten Stekelenburg and Jordy Clasie.
The Dutch, who have no competitive matches until the World Cup qualifiers start next year, play Wales in Cardiff on November 13 before travelling to Germany four days later. They will play England in a friendly on March 29 next year.Ajax, who are also in the Parkhead side’s Europa League group, have six players included in the squad – goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, defenders Jairo Riedewald, Kenny Tete and Joel Veltman, midfielder Davy Klaasen and striker Anwar El Ghazi.
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