Soccer-Gakpo, Timber in provisional Dutch Euro squad, Babel misses out

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FILE PHOTO: UEFA Under 21 Championship - Group A - Germany v Netherlands

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -Netherlands named young prospects Cody Gakpo and Jurrien Timber in a provisional 34-man squad for next month’s European Championship but coach Frank de Boer surprisingly left out veteran striker Ryan Babel on Friday.

It is a first call-up for PSV Eindhoven attacker Gakpo, 22, and 19-year-old Ajax Amsterdam defender Timber, who have made a strong impression in the second half of the Dutch league season.

De Boer also recalled Aston Villa forward Anwar El Ghazi and AS Roma defender Rick Karsdorp. He will cut his squad to 26 players on May 26, the Dutch FA said.

Galatasary's Babel, 34, had been a regular for De Boer and was a notable omission when the provisional squad was released.

Daley Blind, who suffered a serious knee injury in March and is battling to be fit for the tournament, was included, along with 38-year-old goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, just days after extending his contract with champions Ajax.

Earlier this week, captain Virgil van Dijk said he would not try to return from injury at Euro 2020 but instead concentrate on being fit for the next Premier League season with Liverpool.

The Netherlands are in Group C with Austria, North Macedonia and Ukraine and are expected to reach the knockout stages.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Marco Bizot (AZ Alkmaar), Jasper Cillessen (Valencia), Tim Krul (Norwich City), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax Amsterdam)

Defenders: Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax Amsterdam), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan), Denzel Dumfries (PSV Eindhoven), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta), Rick Karsdorp (AS Roma), Jeremiah St Juste (Mainz), Kenny Tete (Fulham), Jurriem Timber (Ajax Amsterdam), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Joel Veltman (Brighton & Hove Albion), Owen Wijndal (AZ Alkmaar)

Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Ryan Gravenberch, Davy Klaassen (both Ajax Amsterdam), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ Alkmaar), Donny van de Beek (Manchester United), Tonny Vilhena (Krasnodar), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

Forwards: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Steven Bergwijn (Tottenham Hotspur), Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyonnais), Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa), Cody Gakpo, Donyell Malen (both PSV Eindhoven), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow), Wout Weghorst (Vfl Wolfsburg)

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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