Liverpool midfielder Ryan Gravenberch’s decision to reject a call-up from the Dutch U21 squad was ‘unacceptable.’

As per, Gravenberch informed the Netherlands set-up that he wished to remain on Merseyside during the international break, in order to settle in to his new club.

Fair enough, most reasonable people may think. But, unfortunately, the move has not gone down well in his homeland.

Ryan Gravenberch
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Speaking on TV show Voetbalzone via Voetbal Primeur, Dutch legend Marco van Basten aired his anger at the 21-year-old’s decision.

“It’s unacceptable,” Van Basten railed. “I can understand his reasons, but you just can’t do this. It’s inappropriate towards Dutch Football, towards the Dutch squad. I don’t think it’s done, it shouldn’t be.”

Gravenberch faces Dutch backlash

Van Basten wasn’t the only one to come all guns blazing at Gravenberch yesterday. U21 coach Michael Reiziger wasn’t happy, and neither was senior team manager Ronald Koeman.

In some respects, we understand it. It’s never a good look for a player to refuse a call-up, just ask Fabio Carvalho, who did the same thing for the Portuguese U21 side last season.

It will also no doubt impact Gravenberch’s chances of making the Euro 2024 squad, something he seems set on doing having missed out on the World Cup last year.

Ryan Gravenberch
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

So, maybe not a smart move from the 21-year-old.

But by the same token, some leeway surely has to be given. The £34m Gravenberch has just upped sticks to re-settle in Liverpool. His way of doing it may be clumsy, but the former Bayern Munich man should be applauded for this kind of mentality.

Having had a disappointing time in Munich since his move last year, the Reds new No.38 is obviously taking steps to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen again at Liverpool.

In the long-run, it should stand to help Gravenberch, and by extension the Dutch national team. Unfortunately though, no one in the Netherlands set-up seems to be seeing it that way. Time for Virgil to start the smooth-talking, perhaps!

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