Nigel de Jong is delighted to be back in the Holland squad for the upcoming friendly with Austria after a three-month absence from the national team.
The Blues’ combative midfielder was left out of the Euro qualifiers with Moldova and Sweden after being heavily criticised for a fair tackle that saw Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa ruled out for several months.
When Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk axed De Jong last October, Bayern Munich captain and Holland team-mate Mark van Bommel said: "Nigel remains one of us. We are all very much bothered by this.”
In an exclusive interview in the official City Magazine, ManC, out on February 8, De Jong spoke of the challenge on the Newcastle forward, saying: “It was never my intention to hurt Ben Arfa and especially to injure him.
It was a very unfortunate accident and so I have to make sure that I keep focusing on what I do well for City
...Nigel de Jong.
“There’s been lots of talk about the situation with the national team and three months have passed since I was left out of the qualifiers.
“Obviously, I never gave up on the chance of representing my country again and never would because I’m very proud to play for Holland.”
Van Marwijk added: “We have had a good talk about the situation. Nigel will be back for the game with Austria in February.”