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Manchester City's Nathan Ake out of Netherlands squad due to injury

Man City's Nathan Ake out of Netherlands squad due to injury
© Reuters
Manchester City defender Nathan Ake withdraws from the Netherlands squad for November's Euro 2024 qualifiers due to injury.

Manchester City defender Nathan Ake has withdrawn from the Netherlands squad for November's internationals due to injury.

The 42-cap Oranje international - who has five goals for his nation - was called up by Ronald Koeman for this month's meetings with the Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar in Euro 2024 qualifying Group B.

The Netherlands sit second in the section behind already-qualified France, and their first-placed destiny is out of their own hands, as Les Bleus only need a draw from their final two games to finish at the top of the section.

Koeman's men are engaged in a straight shootout for second place with Greece, whom they are level with on 12 points, but Oranje sit second in the section owing to their superior head-to-head record.

The Dutch are already missing a host of injured defenders, and their rearguard crisis worsened over the weekend when Ake sat out Man City's 4-4 Premier League draw with former club Chelsea.

Netherlands' Nathan Ake in action with Greece's Anastasios Bakasetas on September 7, 2023© Reuters

Neither Pep Guardiola nor the club would elaborate on Ake's unspecified issue, but the problem is serious enough to rule the former Bournemouth man out of November's international break.

A social media update from the Dutch Football Federation confirmed Ake's withdrawal, reading: "Nathan Ake will not join Oranje's training camp in Zeist tomorrow due to an injury. 😕 Get well soon @NathanAke! 🧡."

Ake has endured a troublesome time with injuries since arriving at the Etihad in 2020, missing a total of 38 matches for club and country, including a three-month spell on the sidelines from December 2020 to March 2021 with a hamstring problem.

A similar concern rendered Ake unavailable for nine games towards the end of last season, ruling him out of the FA Cup and Champions League semi-finals, but he returned to play in both finals as City won a historic treble.

The 28-year-old joins fellow Dutch defenders Jurrien Timber, Sven Botman, Tyrell Malacia and Micky van de Ven on the treatment table, while City boss Guardiola is now without two of his key centre-backs heading into the festive period.

England's John Stones celebrates after the match on June 19, 2023© Reuters

Last week, Ake came on as a second-half substitute for John Stones in Man City's 3-0 Champions League win over Young Boys, as the England international had picked up a muscular injury in the first half.

Guardiola conceded after the game that Stones would be out for a "while", although he has since been informed by the medical team that the 29-year-old's problem is not as bad as first feared.

However, there is still no timeframe on Stones's recovery, while Sergio Gomez is also out of contention with an undisclosed training injury - believed to be an ankle sprain.

Nevertheless, Guardiola still has Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Josko Gvardiol, Ruben Dias and Rico Lewis - who has just earned his first senior call-up to the England squad - available for selection at the back.

The Citizens, who are also working without long-term hamstring victim Kevin De Bruyne, are one point clear of Liverpool and Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table as they prepare to meet the former at the Etihad on November 25.

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Manchester City's John Stones in action with BSC Young Boys' Cheikh Niasse on November 7, 2023
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