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Koeman: “Dest could have a future with the Netherlands”

Dutch Men’s National Team manager Ronald Koeman believes Sergino Dest can have a future with the Netherlands.

In a press conference Monday, Koeman spoke about the 18-year-old Dest and the choice he eventually has to make regarding his National Team future. The Dutch-American defender has risen through the ranks with Eredivisie club Ajax this season and has also appeared twice for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The Netherlands has also been linked with Dest’s services, despite the fullback yet to appear for their youth or senior team. Dest turned down a USMNT call-up for October matches against Cuba and Canada in the Concacaf Nations League to give more thought to his decision.

“What happened is that we talked with him and what kind of future we see for him at the National Team,” Koeman said. “He’s a candidate for the right back position. I never promise anything to anybody, but I did tell him he could have a future at the National Team.”

“Apparently he needs time to make a decision. The fact is that he also declined an invitation of the USA. So that shows that he really needs to think about this decision. He hasn’t said no to us or yes to the USA yet.”

Dest is a highly-touted prospect for both countries after rising through the ranks at both club and international level. Just months after playing a key role for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, Dest earned his first two USMNT appearances with Gregg Berhalter’s senior squad in September, starting in friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay.

Just like on the international stage, Dest has taken advantage of opportunities with Ajax. After 16 league appearances for Jong Ajax last season, Dest has totaled 13 appearances in all competitions with the defending Eredivisie champs and UEFA Champions League semifinalists.

He lifted the Dutch Super Cup earlier this season over rivals PSV and has appeared in both of Ajax’s Champions League group stage wins over Lille and Valencia.

Currently eight spots higher than the USMNT in the latest FIFA rankings, the Netherlands are fighting for qualification into 2020 European Tournament. After missing out the last two major international competitions, the Dutch are currently third in Group C with nine points from four matches.

PSV’s Denzel Dumfries and Ajax’s Joel Veltman have recently battled for the starting right back spot under Koeman, but should Dest switch his allegiance to the Dutch then he could be tossed into that battle as well.

Dest will return to league play with Ajax following this international break on Oct. 19th against RKC Waalwijk.

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