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Monday, July 15, 2024

Micky van de Ven reveals Netherlands’ plan to stop Bukayo Saka

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Micky van de Ven has outlined the Netherlands’ plan to silence England’s Bukayo Saka ahead of their Euro 2024 semi-final on Wednesday.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Van de Ven and Arsenal’s Saka are used to being rivals in the Premier League, but now the north London duo will face off on the international stage as the Netherlands face England in Dortmund in a bid to earn a spot in the tournament final.

And Van de Ven has already warned his team to be aware of star man Saka, who has impressed in Germany this summer and could prove a problem player for Ronald Koeman’s side.

Speaking ahead of the highly-anticipated clash, the defender said: “Saka is a wonderful footballer with lots of pace but [Virgil] van Dijk and [Nathan] Ake have a lot of pace too and I am sure they can handle him.

“I know Saka very well from him playing at Arsenal. I faced him twice. We will see if the manager will start me.”

Van de Ven has featured in four of his country’s five fixtures at Euro 2024, coming off the bench to make an impact in the backline, but has not yet made a start.

When asked if he thought he could compete with the speed of Saka, Van de Ven suggested that he is a quicker player, before Cody Gakpo branded his teammate as the ‘fastest player in the Premier League’.

Liverpool’s Gakpo continued: “This has been a very beautiful tournament with our group. The feeling’s really strong. We’re in the semi-final and this is not the end of the tournament. Every single team that is here wants to get to the final and we’re no different.

“It’s not for nothing that England are in the semi-finals. They have a really good group of players and it’s a fantastic squad. So it will hopefully be a beautiful game.”

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