Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has sent a warning to FC Barcelona duo Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The pair were widely linked with a move away from the Catalan giants in the most recent transfer window, but both ended up staying at the Camp Nou.
Depay was reportedly close to terminating his deal and joining Juventus but that potential move failed to materialise, while De Jong chose to remain at Barca despite Manchester United agreeing a fee with the Spanish club for his services.
With the duo staying in Catalonia, the Dutch midfielder has made only four starts in the 2022/23 campaign so far, with manager Xavi Hernandez appearing to regularly rotate midfielders De Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi and Franck Kessie this season.
Depay has made even less appearances – three across all competitions – with Robert Lewandowski leading the line on all fronts.
With the World Cup now only two months away, Oranje boss Van Gaal has admitted that De Jong and Depay's lack of regular first-team action ahead of the tournament is a cause for concern, hinting that their spots in the national team for the showpiece could be in jeopardy.
"It is true that many players called me in the transfer window," the 65-year-old said at a press conference, per the Daily Express.
"But I always ended every conversation with: 'This is my advice, but you make your own decision.'
"I am happy with the outcome but I would be happier if Frenkie and Memphis [Depay] would play more than they are now."
Depay and De Jong will be hoping they can cement their places in Van Gaal's World Cup squad with strong displays in the Netherlands' upcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures against Poland and Belgium.
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