Netherlands suffers major blow with De Jong's injury withdrawal, replaces him with Matsen

The Netherlands suffers a setback as Frenkie de Jong is ruled out of the European Championship with an ankle injury. Ian Matsen replaces him in the squad.

The Netherlands has suffered a major setback after playmaker Frenkie de Jong was ruled out of the European Championship in Germany due to an ankle injury, the Dutch Football Association announced.

The local football association said after the team's 4-0 friendly win over Iceland in Rotterdam on Monday, in the final preparation for the continental tournament, that medical tests conducted on Sunday and Monday showed that the injured midfielder's ankle was not strong enough.

De Jong, 27, will return to Spain to prepare for the next season with his club Barcelona.

De Jong said a few days ago, "I must be careful not to make the injury chronic and I don't want to have surgery."

The Dutch players were informed of De Jong's withdrawal before the friendly against Iceland.

Defender Nathan Ake of Manchester City commented on De Jong's absence, saying, "Everyone went straight to him. It's hard for him, and hard for us. It came at a difficult time. Frankie is an important player for us and he's great in the group."

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman decided to call up defender Ian Matsen, who co-led his team Borussia Dortmund to the Champions League final where they lost 0-2 to Real Madrid, to replace De Jong.

Koeman also lost the services of midfielder Teun Koopmeiners, who injured his thigh during the warm-up on Monday evening. It was decided not to replace him, so the squad settled on 25 players, according to the Dutch federation.

The former Barcelona defender had expressed concern about the participation of the Atalanta player in the finals, saying, "It's not a good sign, we will do some tests and then we will see what happens."

The draw placed the Netherlands in Group D alongside Poland, France, and Austria.

Meta Description: The Netherlands suffers a major blow with Frenkie de Jong's injury withdrawal from the European Championship. Defender Ian Matsen is called up as a replacement.



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