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‘Extraordinary’ Memphis Depay is ‘incredibly important’ for the Netherlands - Van Gaal

The boss is backing the Barcelona forward

Senegal v Netherlands: Group A - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Louis van Gaal has made it clear just how important Memphis Depay is to his Netherlands team ahead of Friday’s game against Ecuador at the World Cup.

Depay made his return from injury as a substitute in the 2-0 win over Senegal, but Van Gaal says he’s not sure if he’s ready to start yet.

However, the Dutch boss also insisted that Depay is crucial to his team’s hopes of success and he’s willing to make exceptions for the forward.

“He has played 30 minutes and the next step would be 45 minutes,” he said. “The injury he has makes it so difficult to decide when he can start so we have to look at him.

“But he is an extraordinary player and so I have to set aside my principles because I consider him to be incredibly important to my team.

“I explained this to the players, that I am doing all this for Memphis, and the players accepted this.”

The Netherlands will face an Ecuador side that also won their opening match. Two goals from Enner Valencia handed La Tri all three points against hosts Qatar.

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