‘He made the wrong choice!’ – Liverpool star Ryan Gravenberch slammed for snubbing international duty

Belgium U23 v Netherlands U23 - International Friendly
Ryan Gravenberch has 11 caps for the Netherlands (Photo: Getty)

New Liverpool signing Ryan Gravenberch has been blasted by his international managers for rejecting a call-up to the Dutch Under-21 side.

Gravenberch moved to Anfield from Bayern Munich on deadline day in a deal worth €40million (£34m), beating rivals Manchester United to his signature.

The transfer came too late for him to feature in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday but much is expected of the former Ajax midfielder.

And he should be well rested ahead of his eventual debut after the 21-year-old turned down the chance to play for the Netherlands U21s during the international break, in order to stay in Liverpool and better acclimatise himself to the area and his new club.

This decision has however engulfed the wrath of U21s boss Michael Reiziger and Oranje manager Ronald Koeman, and may well have harmed his chances of playing for his country in the forseeable future.

Reports suggest Koeman could leave Gravenberch out of future squads, and the former Everton and Barcelona boss was quizzed about the matter in a press conference on Monday.

He simply said: ‘We’re not happy about that. Nigel de Jong [the assistant manager] has been in touch with him.’

Liverpool Unveil New Signing Ryan Gravenberch
Gravenberch signed for Liverpool on deadline day for £34m (Photo: Getty)

As for Reiziger, he said: ‘No, I don’t think it’s a good decision. That’s what I told him.

‘I really don’t think it’s a good decision. I know Ryan, I think he’s a good boy, a nice guy, but he made the wrong choice.

‘You have to play with your heart for your country, not with your head. It’s an honour. That’s it, there are no concessions.

Training Holland U21 -U21 Men
Michael Reiziger is the new manager of the Dutch U21s (Photo: Getty)

‘You really have to want to be there and that’s just really important to me. But he has made his decision and he now wants to stay in Liverpool to acclimatise.

‘Should I make a statement to the other players? Yes and no. It would have been played with a statement, but I truly believe it’s an honour to play for your country.

‘That’s not a statement, that’s a principle. If you think, “Well, Oranje Jong [U21s] is nice and non-committal…”. At the top, nothing is non-committal. I [told] that to the other guys.’

The senior Dutch side, who are captained by Reds skipper Virgil van Dijk, face Greece and the Republic of Ireland in Euro 2024 qualifiers during the September break.

Other Premier League stars to be called up include Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo, Manchester City’s Nathan Ake, new Tottenham defender Micky van de Ven and Chelsea youngster Ian Maatsen.

MORE : ‘Disrespected’ England stars should retire from international duty after latest Gareth Southgate snub, Rio Ferdinand says

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