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Xavi Simons and Jeremie Frimpong earn maiden call-up for Netherlands World Cup squad

Netherlands have released their final 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Head coach Louis van Gaal has handed PSV Eindhoven midfielder Xavi Simons his first-ever call-up to the national team.

The 19-year-old has been in terrific form for PSV since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, racking up ten goals and four assists in all competitions this season.

Jeremie Frimpong has also received his maiden call-up to the Dutch senior squad after establishing himself as one of the most coveted right-backs in Europe at Bayer Leverkusen.

Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has been left out, with Van Gaal choosing Justin Bijlow, Andries Nopper and Remko Pasveer ahead of him.

Frenkie de Jong, Teun Koopmeiners and Davy Klaassen are among the midfielders called up, while Ryan Gravenberch and Donny van de Beek have been axed owing to their struggles at the club level.

Memphis Depay will be the focal point of the attack, but expectations are high on Cody Gakpo, who will enter into his first-ever World Cup after impressing with PSV.

Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake, Matthijs de Ligt, Jurrien Timber and Stefan de Vrij make for a rock-solid defence, while Van Gaal has given the nod for Tyrell Malacia over Mitchel Bakker at left-back.

Netherlands have been drawn in Group A alongside Senegal, Qatar and Ecuador.

Netherlands World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Andries Noppert (Heerenveen), Remko Pasveer (Ajax).

Defenders: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Jurrien Timber (Ajax), Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen).

Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Steven Berghuis (Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax), Xavi Simons (PSV).

Forwards: Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Steven Bergwijn (Ajax), Vincent Janssen (Antwerp), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Noa Lang (Club Brugge), Wout Weghorst (Besiktas, on loan from Burnley).

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