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World Cup 2022

Van Gaal bemused by Bergwijn’s Spurs role

Louis van Gaal cannot understand why Steven Bergwijn has been used so sparingly by Tottenham, with the forward again highly influential for the Netherlands on Friday.

Bergwijn made only four Premier League starts this season, restricted to 547 minutes across 25 appearances while scoring three times.

It appears as though this could have been Bergwijn’s last campaign at Spurs, given Ajax are said to be looking to bring the Oranje front man back to the Eredivisie.

On his form at international level, it is easy to see why Ajax would be interested.

Bergwijn scored the Netherlands’ first goal in a 4-1 win in Belgium in the Nations League, having a hand in six of his side’s 15 attempts.

The former PSV man has scored five goals and assisted another for his country since Van Gaal returned as coach last year.

And Bergwijn, along with Frenkie de Jong, was picked out for special praise for their roles in a “collective victory”.

Van Gaal told NOS:

“You always have players who can excel in the collective.

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Van Gaal bemused by Bergwijn's Spurs role

“In this match, it was again Frenkie de Jong and Steven Bergwijn.

“Bergwijn played incredibly well. I don’t understand why he never plays at Spurs, that’s all I can say. Of course, they have a lot of choice there, but for us he is worth his weight in gold.

“Today he played his best game, and with Frenkie, in Oranje, he is always a hit.”

This was the Netherlands’ first win against Belgium – the world’s second-ranked team – since September 1997, before the first of Van Gaal’s three stints as coach.

But he is not getting carried away, explaining: “It may have seemed easy, but it wasn’t that easy.

“We deserved to win, we created the most chances.

“But Belgium also had chances – if the first one goes in, you get a completely different game.

“And we must not forget that.

“We are in a process towards the World Cup. I want to see a lot of players at work in the coming matches. A game against Belgium is the best game to judge players.”

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Van Gaal bemused by Bergwijn's Spurs role

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