The Netherlands coach, Louis van Gaal, has explained why he changed the role of Tyrell Malacia during their 1-0 win over Belgium in the Nations League on Sunday.
As the former Feyenoord full-back replaced Nathan Ake at half-time, Van Gaal tried Malacia as a left-sided centre-back against Belgium.
Virgil van Dijk’s commanding header secured all three points for the hosts in Amsterdam.
But rather than lining up in his usual role on the left flank when he entered the pitch, Malacia instead played in the heart of the defence alongside Van Dijk and Jurrien Timber, while Daley Blind remained at left wing-back.
The new boy gave a decent showing defensively despite his diminutive stature.
When Van Gaal was asked about the change after the game, he told ESPN, “I put Malacia in the left centre-back role because Martins Indi is not going to make it to the World Cup squad in time due to injury."
“I have to look at other players who can play there and I wanted to see what Malacia could do, so Ake was substituted.”
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