Ronald Koeman fires warning to Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch after Netherlands snub, he's 'not happy'
| Last updated
Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has slammed new Liverpool signing Ryan Gravenberch for turning down a call-up to his nation's under-21 side.
Gravenberch joined the Reds from Bayern Munich on deadline day, with the two sides agreeing an initial £35 million fee that will rise to £40 million with add-ons.
The 21-year-old was a top target of manager Jurgen Klopp last summer prior to his move to Allianz Arena, and the German retained interest in the midfielder heading into the most recent transfer window.
That means he will have to wait until after the international break to make his Reds bow - and will not be playing any competitive football until then.
That is because Gravenberch turned down the opportunity to play for the Netherlands U21 side, as confirmed in an official Dutch FA (KNVB) statement: "Ryan Gravenberch will not travel to Zeist this international match to join the Dutch Juniors.
"The Liverpool FC midfielder has indicated to KNVB coach Michael Reiziger that he wants to focus on his new club during the international match in September and will therefore not make himself available."
Now, Netherlands boss Koeman has responded to the midfielder's decision.
Koeman hits out at Gravenberch over Liverpool decision
Gravenberch has collected 11 caps for the senior Dutch national team, but has not played since a one-minute substitute appearance against Belgium in September 2022. He was not named in the nation's 2022 World Cup squad.
He was not in line to receive any more caps during the current international window, but could have had the opportunity to get minutes under his belt with the most senior age-group side.
Speaking in a press conference on Monday, Koeman was highly critical of the midfielder, before sending him what appeared to be a warning about his international opportunities in future.
He fumed (quotes via Voetbal Nieuws): "For Ryan Gravenberch, we are not happy with that. Nigel [De Jong] has also been in contact with him. You can make a step through good performances at the Dutch Juniors."
Koeman brought up the case of Bayer Leverkusen wing-back Jeremie Frimpong, who previously turned down a call-up to the U21 side and has not been named in the senior squad: "We are not happy with cancellations at the Dutch Juniors, we believe that he should always be available.
"But within the KNVB we have said that he [Frimpong] is not available for this period.
"That is your duty as a player, to play for any team. You can see that [not being selected] as a kind of punishment."