LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 20, 2023: Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between LASK and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Andrew Yeats/Propaganda)

Ryan Gravenberch left out of Dutch squads following withdrawal criticism

Ryan Gravenberch has not been named in the Netherlands’ provisional senior or U21 squads for the upcoming international fixtures next month.

The midfielder attracted criticism for his decision to withdraw from the Netherlands U21 squad earlier this month in favour of remaining at the AXA Training Centre in an attempt to settle in at Liverpool.

Gravenberch joined the Reds from Bayern Munich on transfer deadline day in a £38.5 million move that saw him become the club’s fourth midfield signing of the summer.

The 21-year-old chose not to meet up with his Dutch teammates for their U21 Euros qualifiers against Moldova and North Macedonia and it appears that may have led to his exclusion for October.

LINZ, AUSTRIA - Thursday, September 21, 2023: Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch applauds the supporters as he walks off with an injury during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 1 game between LASK and Liverpool FC at the Raiffeisen Arena. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

His country’s U21s boss Michael Reiziger described it as the “wrong choice” to reject the call-up and even hinted that it could impact his inclusion in future squads.

Reiziger claimed Gravenberch “needs to learn” from his decision, while senior manager Ronald Koeman added that he too was “not happy” with the refusal.

The midfielder is yet to be capped for the first team by Koeman, despite having made 11 appearances for his country prior to his appointment.

His lack of game time at Bayern Munich led to Gravenberch missing out on a place in the Dutch World Cup squad and he has failed to get back into the side since despite having received his first call-up as an 18-year-old back in 2020.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 2, 2023: Liverpool's new signing Ryan Gravenberch before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It would not be the first time such a punishment has been deemed appropriate, with defender Jeremie Frimpong excluded from the September squads having himself turned down a previous call-up.

The Netherlands’ October squads are only provisional, but it appears Gravenberch has received the same treatment from the Dutch FA for choosing club over country prior to the last international break.

The Dutchman made his full debut for the Reds in the Europa League opener away to LASK having come on as a late substitute at Wolves five days earlier.

He will be hoping his decision to focus on making a fast start to life at Anfield will pay dividends in the coming weeks as he looks to cement a place in a competitive Liverpool midfield.