Dutch fans start campaign for Marco Asensio to wear orange
The Real Madrid midfielder, who is impressing on loan at Espanyol, is half-Dutch and yet to represent Spain at senior level.
Marco Asensio is enjoying a successful loan spell at Espanyol after signing for Real Madrid from Mallorca last year and his performances are not going unnoticed in Holland: Asensio's mother is Dutch and therefore the midfielder is eligible to represent the Oranje. After some eye-catching displays for Espanyol, journalists and football fans in Holland have started a campaign to persuade Asensio to nail his colours to the Dutch mast. A Twitter hashtag has been created -- #AsensioWillemseninOranje – but so far there has no been official approach from the Dutch FA.
The Netherlands national team is at its lowest ebb for many years, having failed to qualify for the European Championship or even scrape into the playoffs, despite the tournament qualifying system being enlarged to accommodate the first 24-team tournament in the competition's history. Some of the country's finest players, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie, are coming to the end of their careers and the younger players coming through have yet to reach the level required. Players like Memphis Depay, Anwar El Ghazi and, if the Dutch fans are successful, Asensio, are the sort of recruits Holland desperately need.
Asensio is the man of the moment in Spain, having shone for the under-21s in recent internationals and putting on a wonderful display against Betis last weekend with three assists. Asensio has represented Spain at every level from under-16 upwards but has yet to make a senior appearance.