Cody Gakpo of Holland, Virgil van Dijk of Holland celebrate the 1-0 during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 group A match between the Netherlands and Qatar at Al Bayt Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. ANP MAURICE VAN STONE Credit: ANP/Alamy Live News

Ryan Gravenberch new aim as Cody Gakpo & Virgil van Dijk seal Euro 2024 spot

Cody Gakpo and Virgil van Dijk sealed their place at next summer’s European Championship with a 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.

It was former Man United forward Wout Weghorst who notched the game’s only goal after just 11 minutes, meaning Van Dijk will lead out his country in Germany after the conclusion of the 2023/24 domestic season.

The win secures second spot in Group B of qualifying for Ronald Koeman’s side with a game to spare, having won five and lost two of their seven games to this point.

Van Dijk missed out on the opportunity to captain the Netherlands at the rearranged Euro 2020 tournament two summers ago, with the injury he sustained in the Merseyside Derby back in October 2020 putting paid to his chances of involvement on that occasion.

DOHA, QATAR - Saturday, December 3, 2022: Netherlands and Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk lines-up before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Netherlands and USA at the Khalifa International Stadium. Netherlands won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gakpo played just 11 minutes of football at that tournament himself, but shone at the subsequent 2022 World Cup in Qatar prior to his January switch to Anfield from PSV.

His side’s latest victory came at the expense of Caoimhin Kelleher, who was an unused substitute for the Republic of Ireland in what was their final game of Euro 2024 qualifying.

Kelleher has 10 caps to his name for his country, but didn’t feature in any of the Group B fixtures with Southampton‘s Gavin Bazunu preferred during qualifying.

Republic of Ireland fell short of Euro 2024 qualifying having picked up just six points from their eight fixtures in Group B.

Gakpo and Van Dijk will join Dominik Szoboszlai at next summer’s tournament, after his two assists helped Hungary book their place with a 2-2 draw against Bulgaria earlier this week.

LINZ, AUSTRIA - Thursday, September 21, 2023: Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch during the pre-match warm-up before 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)

It is unclear whether Ryan Gravenberch will make the senior squad in time for Euro 2024, having been removed from Koeman’s side and the Netherlands U21s as ‘punishment’ for withdrawing from international duty back in September.

Liverpool’s No. 38 opted to remain at Kirkby following his deadline day £38.5 million move from Bayern Munich in order to get up to speed in his new surroundings.

Koeman insisted earlier this month that the exile is now “over”, with his impressive form at Anfield likely to put him back in the conversation for his first senior cap since last September.