Koeman’s camp hit by viral infection as Gakpo and De Ligt leave, leaving Netherlands short by five players

    Cody Gakpo and Matthijs de Ligt were among five players sent home from the Netherlands camp on Thursday after contracting the virus.

    The breaking news meant manager Ronald Koeman was forced to quickly rethink his plans for Friday’s Euro 2024 qualifier in France.

    In a statement on its website, the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) said that Liverpool striker Gakpo and Bayern Munich defender De Ligt, as well as Newcastle United defender Sven Botman, PSV midfielder Joey Vermin and the goalkeeper, have left the team. Anderlecht” Bart Verbruggen.

    Botman, Vermin and Verbruggen have no limits and were looking forward to their first active participation in the Orange, while Gakpo and De Ligt are key figures in the Dutch team.

    Koeman called on Vitesse goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen, Inter defender Stefan de Vrij and Bayern midfielder Ryan Gravenberh to bolster his group.

    The KNVB described the problem faced by the five affected players as a “viral infection”, without going into detail.

    The Netherlands will play World Cup runners-up France at the Stade de France in Paris on Friday before hosting Gibraltar in Rotterdam on Monday.

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