Marten de Roon cannot play any games for Atalanta for the time being due to a suspension, but Louis van Gaal wanted to include the midfielder in his selection for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers of Orange.

The national coach thinks that the 26-time international has a special role.

"De Roon is a member of the players' council and can be very important to us," said Van Gaal on Friday at his press conference in Zeist.

"I need people in the dressing room who speak the language of the coach. He is one of the players I attribute that role. I don't know if he can do that yet, but we'll see."

Thirty-year-old De Roon has been a permanent fixture in the Dutch national team in recent years, but Van Gaal now only wants to call up players with match rhythm.

De Roon is suspended for a total of four games for a red card he received on the final day of the competition last season.

"I asked if he is fit and he said that he has played some practice matches and is therefore very fit," said Van Gaal.

"In my conversation with him, I also mentioned the example of Dirk Kuijt, who I took to Brazil to speak the language of the trainer as a player in the dressing room. He eventually played a lot."

Van Gaal had 'interesting conversation' with Van Dijk

Van Gaal did not want to comment too much on individuals at his press conference, but in addition to De Roon, the national coach also spoke about Virgil van Dijk.

The Liverpool defender, who is back after a serious knee injury, can play his first international game for the Orange since October 2020.

Under Ronald Koeman (and also briefly under Frank de Boer), Van Dijk was the captain of Orange, but Van Gaal did not want to confirm on Friday that the 38-time international is also the captain under his leadership.

"I spoke with Van Dijk and we have a very interesting conversation. You will see if it is my captain. I have always had the habit of appointing three captains and I think you will see that in the coming week."

The Dutch national team continues the World Cup qualification on September 1 in Oslo against Norway and then Van Dijk can also make his comeback.

On Saturday September 4, Montenegro will visit the Philips Stadium and three days later a confrontation with Turkey awaits in the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

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