The former Manchester United man admits to having fractured relationships with coaches in the past, but is happy after scoring eight goals in 12 games

Memphis Depay has praised Ronald Koeman for giving him freedom on the pitch as Netherlands prepare to face England in the last four of the Nations League finals.

Depay has been an ever present since Koeman took charge in February 2018, scoring eight goals from 12 appearances in total.

Netherlands have impressed under former Everton and Southampton manager Koeman, who is reportedly a candidate to replace Ernesto Valverde at Barcelona.

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And Lyon forward Depay – named in Oranje’s 23-man squad to take part in the inaugural Nations League Finals in Portugal – believes his honest relationship with Koeman is one of the main factors behind his fine international form.

“We already had a good relationship, it feels good to me,” Depay told Dutch publication  AD .

“I like trainers who are honest and clear. And they understand that you don’t have to give me full instructions, because I am a player who also needs freedom on the pitch.

“I can talk well with Koeman, but we don’t always need words to understand each other. I like that.

“Am I an easier or more difficult person than before? I do not know. That depends on who I am dealing with.

“I have a strong character. I say it if something doesn’t appeal to me. Not everyone likes that. You must be able to handle that. But I’ve learned, of course.”

There were no big-name omissions from Netherlands’ squad, with Koeman maintaining a similar group to that which he picked for March’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Belarus and Germany.

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum will not join up with the side until after Saturday’s Champions League final, while Ajax stars Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek have also been selected, along with Frenkie de Jong, who will join Barca on July 1.

Netherlands squad in full:  

Marco Bizot (AZ), Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Kenneth Vermeer (Feyenoord); Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Daley Blind (Ajax), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij (Inter), Denzel Dumfries (PSV), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool); Frenkie de Jong (Ajax, joining Barcelona), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Davy Propper (Brighton and Hove Albion), Kevin Strootman (Marseille), Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool); Ryan Babel (Fulham), Steven Bergwijn (PSV), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Quincy Promes (Sevilla).

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