Reliant Robin’s recent injury gives deadly Dost chance to go Dutch
You could hear the clamour emanating from the Volkswagen Arena. Bas Dost has emerged from the shadows of Wolfsburg’s more illustrious acquisitions Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium), Ricardo Rodriguez (Switzerland with Spanish heritage) and Andre Schurrle (Germany) to rise to prominence.
This deadly Dutch frontman has hit 13 goals in just 10 Die Wolfe outings across all competitions this calendar year, leaving in-form Dost a go-to option for Netherlands national boss Guus Hiddink after skipper Robin van Persie left Manchester United’s recent game at Swansea City on crutches.
As this official video from the Bundesliga shows below, 25-year-old Dost is in the form of his life:
All eyes will be on Dost for Wolfsburg’s crunch Europa League last 16 clash with Italian giants Inter Milan. Enjoying home comforts in the first leg, he is odds-on at 8/11 to dispatch anytime, or a tempting 3/1 chance with Coral for two goals or more.
Previously called up to a preliminary Clockwork Orange roster by Louis van Gaal in 2012, Dost will feel his blistering recent form is strong enough to make the final cut.
Current Dutch coach Hiddink has named just three out-and-out centre forwards on his initial roster for a tasty looking Euro 2016 qualifier against Turkey, followed by a prestige friendly with Spain which should be anything but (after their recent World Cup clash) at the end of March.
Dost has Van Persie understudy Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who gave a timely reminder of his talents by netting twice in club colours for Schalke as the Bundesliga boys gave hosts Real Madrid a fright at the Bernabeu, to get past to secure a striking berth for his country.
Former PSV Eindhoven manager and Chelsea caretaker Hiddink has also included several in-form faces from his former club among the attacking options, however. Memphis Depay, a reported target for Tottenham and Manchester United, joins fellow winger Luciano Narsingh, versatile and forward-thinking midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, and the rejuvenated Luuk de Jong in the squad.
Check out the best of tricky wideman Depay’s skills and goals in this compilation:
At the Philips Stadion, this fantastic front four have fired PSV well clear in the Eredivisie title race, and Eindhoven are now nailed on to end Ajax’s recent domestic dominance, holding a healthy 11-point lead.
There’s still Arjen Robben, who Pep Guardiola assured Bayern Munich fans was not seriously injured when coming off in midweek, and reinvigorated pair Eljero Elia (Southampton) and Ibrahim Afellay (Olympaikos) to consider out wide too.
What Dost must do is seize this moment. Van Persie is 31, and a declining force if his Premier League form and fitness record are anything to go by. Alternative options like Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev) and the uncapped Luc Castaignos (Twente) have not been called this time.
Euro 2016 qualifying Group A is wide open, with the Dutch three behind plucky Iceland and six off the pace set by table-toppers the Czech Republic, who are far from their best post-independence vintage.
Having stepped things up at club level for Wolfsburg, Dost must now deliver for country, especially with automatic qualification not assured in third spot.
The Netherlands may well be odds-on 4/6 favourites to top their pool, but must start taking points off those above them this year. Dost can force his way into Hiddink’s thinking for the Euros by helping to fire them there, and it’s 14/1 for a Clockwork Orange win at Euro 2016.