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Liverpool have reacted to Ronald Koeman’s criticism of Ryan Gravenberch after he turned down a call-up to the national squad, it has been reported.
Gravenberch was in line to receive a call-up to the Dutch Juniors – under-21 – squad, having not played for the senior team since last year.
But the 21-year-old rejected the call-up after joining Liverpool on deadline day from Bayern Munich.
The Dutch football federation, the KNVB, confirmed the decision in a statement on their official website, stating that Gravenberch had informed them that he wanted to focus on settling in at his new club.
They wrote: “The Liverpool FC midfielder has indicated to KNVB coach Michael Reiziger that he wants to focus on his new club during the international match in September and will therefore not make himself available.”
That did not go down well with Netherlands boss Koeman during his next press conference, with the former Everton boss fuming (quotes via Voetbal Nieuws): “For Ryan Gravenberch, we are not happy with that. Nigel [De Jong] has also been in contact with him. You can make a step through good performances at the Dutch Juniors.”
Koeman then took aim at Bayer Leverkusen wing-back Jeremie Frimpong, who had previously turned down a call-up to the Juniors: “We are not happy with cancellations at the Dutch Juniors. We believe he should always be available. Within the KNVB we have said that he is not available for this period. That is your duty as a player, to play for any team.”
Now, the Liverpool reaction to Koeman’s comments have been revealed.
Liverpool react to Ronald Koeman over Ryan Gravenberch comments
According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool are said to be ‘baffled’ over Koeman’s outburst.
It has been reported that the Reds even contacted the KNVB to discuss Gravenberch’s withdrawal, with the player also explaining his decision to management.
Koeman’s response, therefore, is said to have surprised Reds chiefs, with the midfielder now focusing on adapting to his new club during the international break rather than playing in international fixtures.
Gravenberch arrived at Anfield for an initial fee of £35 million, rising to £40 million with add-ons, on deadline day.
The Reds had made the Netherlands international one of their top targets last summer before his move to Bayern, and reignited that interest this summer.
Bayern did not want to sell the midfielder for much of the window, however, but Liverpool took their opportunity late on to secure a fourth midfield signing of the summer for manager Jurgen Klopp.
Featured Image Credit: Getty