Monday, November 20, 2023 at 6:49 PM• Jonathan van Haaster

Valentijn Driessen thinks it is a shame that Ajax did not make an attempt to sign Stefan de Vrij. The journalist said this in the podcast kick off by The Telegraph. De Vrij is suddenly back in the spotlight, as he played excellently against Ireland and will also kick off against Gibraltar.

“It’s nice for that boy, especially because he hasn’t played for Inter for a long time.” In Milan, trainer Simone Inzaghi has a choice of Alessandro Bastoni, Federico Acerbi, Matteo Darmian, Benjamin Pavard and Yann Bisseck at the center back. De Vrij, unlike compatriot and full-back Denzel Dumfries, is not certain of his place i Nerazzurri.

This season, De Vrij (31) has played 841 minutes so far, spread over 14 games. “He is actually slightly more of a non-basic player than a basic player,” Driessen concludes. “You can see that he has a lot of experience and anticipates many things in the field.”

“I still think it’s a shame that Ajax has not yet made an attempt to bring him in,” Driessen continues. “I think he would be a very good player to take Jorrel Hato under his wing and teach him the tricks of the trade.”

“It’s not like that, but maybe he does it during training with the Dutch national team.” Hato was called up for the first time this international match by national coach Ronald Koeman due to a wave of injuries in the defense. “He (De Vrij, ed.) played really impressively. But it also says enough that a defender is the standout in a match against Ireland in a home match for the European Championship qualification.”

The Dutch team won 1-0 against the Irish on Saturday thanks to a nice goal from Wout Weghorst, making qualification for the European Championship a fact. The Dutch did not play well against Ireland, although De Vrij did distinguish himself. On Monday, Koeman announced that De Vrij will also kick off against football giants Gibraltar.

De Vrij, also present at the press conference on Monday, knows that the competition in the heart of the defense is very fierce. “I think there have been good defenders for a long time, so the national coach has a lot of choice,” De Vrij said. “That is why I was personally keen and eager to show that I also belong. There are of course many options and I was not there in March and June. Ultimately, the choices are up to the national coach.”