USMNT defender Dest to consider switch to Netherlands

Goal.com
The right-back has represented the USMNT twice, but could still make the decision to pledge his international career to the country of his birth
The right-back has represented the USMNT twice, but could still make the decision to pledge his international career to the country of his birth

Sergino Dest will take time to consider his international future as he ponders a switch from the United States to his native Netherlands.

Ajax full-back Dest made his first two USA appearances in a pair of friendlies in September but was not included in the squad for this month's CONCACAF Nations League games against Cuba and Canada.

USA boss Gregg Berhalter confirmed he had held "positive" talks with the 18-year-old but Dest is not ready to commit to featuring in competitive matches, which would bind him to the nation he represented at several youth levels.

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Netherlands have expressed interest, with Ronald Koeman said to have engaged the defender in discussions about a change of allegiance.

"I haven't decided yet on either one. I need more time," Dest told Fox Sports after Ajax's 3-0 victory away at Valencia's Mestalla Stadium in the Champions League.

"It's a decision I have to make for my entire life, so I want to handle it with care. I need to think carefully, that's why I left it alone this time.

"Hopefully I will have decided by next month but if I need more time I'll take it."

Dest, who was born and raised in the Dutch city of Almere, has been tipped to enjoy a bright future, with Erik ten Hag having promoted him to the first team at Ajax this season.

The Ajax head coach has handed the teenager 12 appearances in all competitions, providing Noussair Mazraoui with a stern challenge for his starting spot and seeing Joel Veltman converted into a central defender following the departure of Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus in the summer transfer window.

Ajax have made a fine start to the season, building on their excellent campaign last time out despite the sales of star youth products Frenkie de Jong and De Ligt. The reigning Eredivisie champions top the league table once more, although they are again being challenged fiercely by PSV Eindhoven, who are only behind them on goal difference.

Additionally, a pair of 3-0 wins to start their Champions League campaign has put last season's semi-finalists three points clear at the top of a Group H containing Chelsea, Valencia and Lille.

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