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Chelsea defender 'in line for Euro 2024 call-up' after injury blow

Chelsea defender 'in line for Euro 2024 call-up' after injury blow
© Reuters
Chelsea defender Ian Maatsen reportedly has a strong chance of being called up to the Netherlands' Euro 2024 squad following Frenkie de Jong's withdrawal through injury.

A Chelsea defender still waiting for his first senior international cap is reportedly in line to be called up to his nation's Euro 2024 squad following a major injury blow.

On Monday, Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman confirmed the devastating news that key midfielder Frenkie de Jong had failed to recover from an ankle problem in time for the Championships.

The 27-year-old suffered three separate issues in the 2023-24 season, the most recent of which saw him miss Barca's final six matches of the La Liga campaign, although there was optimism that he would be fit for the Euros.

As a result, Koeman included De Jong in his squad for this summer's tournament, but the midfielder did not feature in either 4-0 friendly victory against either Canada or Iceland.

With only five days to go until the Dutch kick off their Euro 2024 campaign against Group D rivals Poland, Koeman admitted that it was too big an ask to expect De Jong to be ready in time given his history of ankle issues.

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong receives medical attention after sustaining an injury on April 21, 2024© Reuters

Ian Maatsen 'has strong chance of Euro 2024 call-up'

The Oranje boss also took a swipe at former club Barcelona when confirming his withdrawal, saying that the Netherlands were paying the price for the risks that the Blaugrana took with De Jong's health.

The ex-Ajax man had only just recovered from his second ankle injury of the season before starting against Real Madrid in El Clasico in April, but he was stretchered off in first-half injury time after suffering an immediate recurrence.

With De Jong now recuperating at home, a spot has opened up for Koeman to select a replacement, and according to Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea's Ian Maatsen could be the one to benefit.

The 22-year-old has just finished a terrific half-season on loan with Borussia Dortmund, cementing his status as their first-choice left-back during their run to the 2023-24 Champions League final.

Maatsen contributed three goals and two assists from 23 matches for Edin Terzic's side and played every minute of the Champions League knockout stages, as BVB suffered a gut-wrenching 2-0 loss to Real Madrid in the final.

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman reacts on November 18, 2023© Reuters

A permanent move to Signal Iduna Park is expected to materialise for Maatsen this summer, assuming that Dortmund meet the £35m release clause in his contract, which runs until 2026.

Should Maatsen indeed earn a call-up following De Jong's withdrawal, the 22-year-old would be the only uncapped player in the Netherlands' ranks, although he has played 17 times for the Under-21s.

Koeman did include Maatsen in his squad for October's Euro 2024 qualifiers against France and Greece, but the former Burnley loanee was an unused substitute in both of those contests.

Who will the Netherlands face at Euro 2024?

The Dutch kick off their bid for continental glory against Poland at Volksparkstadion on Sunday, before clashing with France in a blockbuster battle at the Red Bull Arena on June 21.

The Netherlands then conclude their Group D campaign against Austria at Olympiastadion on June 25.

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Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong receives medical attention after sustaining an injury on April 21, 2024
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