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Brighton’s Bart Verbruggen to be Netherlands No 1 at Euros, Ronald Koeman confirms

Written by on June 7, 2024

Brighton & Hove Albion’s Bart Verbruggen has been confirmed by Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman as their first-choice goalkeeper for the European Championship.

Speaking ahead of Netherlands’ first pre-tournament friendly against Canada on Thursday, Koeman said: “It was clear to me for several weeks that Bart would become the first goalkeeper.

“This also comes from the October/November period, in which Bart has played the four internationals. Consciously we let both Bart and Mark (Flekken) play in March, but the choice for Bart was clear to me.”

Verbruggen will face Brighton colleague, Poland midfielder Jakub Moder, in his country’s first group match of the European Championship in group D in Germany on June 16. The Canada squad for the friendly and for the upcoming Copa America also includes Verbruggen’s fellow Brighton team-mate Tom McGill.

It took Verbruggen time to get to grips with the playing out from the back style of Brighton’s former head coach Roberto De Zerbi after a £16.3 million move from Anderlecht last summer. De Zerbi rotated the 21-year-old with 33-year-old Jason Steele during Brighton’s domestic and European campaigns.

Verbruggen ended up starting more of Brighton’s 50 games across all competitions, including the Europa League (27 appearances against Steele’s 23).

Competent with his hands and feet, Verbruggen improved as the season progressed, getting the nod for ten of De Zerbi’s final 12 games in charge.

Performing well in the Euros will leave Verbruggen in a strong position to also establish himself as Brighton’s No 1 under De Zerbi’s yet-to-be-named successor.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Good with his feet, a risk taker and lots to learn – Brighton new-boy Bart Verbruggen

(Koen van Weel/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

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