Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek has been forced to withdraw from the Netherlands squad for Euro 2020 as a result of injury just days before the tournament begins.
Dutch coach Frank de Boer has decided against calling a last minute replacement into the squad and the Oranje will head into Euro 2020 with a slightly reduced 25-player group instead.
It comes as a huge personal blow to Van de Beek, who endured a really difficult first season at United following his £40m transfer from Ajax last August.
Despite scoring on his debut for the club off the bench in September, he went on to start just four Premier League games and was very much a peripheral figure by the end of the campaign.
That lack of action appeared to eat away at his confidence and he became a shadow of the player that had been nominated for the Ballon d’Or in 2019.
The Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt will miss his side's opening game of Euro 2020 against Ukraine through injury
Daniel James can use good performances for Wales at Euro 2020, like in their opener vs Switzerland, to prove himself to Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Man Utd hope to open new contract talks with Paul Pogba after Euro 2020 to stop him leaving on a free transfer next summer.
Spain revealed an alternative Euro 2020 squad following their Covid-19 outbreak.
Euro 2020 could have been an opportunity for some footballing respite and enjoy a different environment before refocusing on establishing himself in Manchester ahead of next season.
Instead, Van de Beek will have a summer off, which might still end up benefitting him in the longer term. The rest and the chance to have a full pre-season not interrupted by a delayed holiday or international tournament could actually be better preparation for 2021/22.
Perhaps tellingly, the 24-year-old had played no part in either of Netherlands’ warm-up matches against Scotland or Georgia in recent days. De Boer’s squad will play their opening group game against Ukraine on home soil in Amsterdam on 13 June, followed by further clashes against Austria and North Macedonia, both also in Amsterdam on 17 June and 21 June respectively.
For Van de Beek, fitness permitting, pre-season with United will likely start in early July.