Aston Villa's Leandro Bacuna hoping for international future with the Netherlands

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

The former Under-21 international believes he could push himself into the picture for senior honours ahead of Euro 2016.

Despite Curacao manager Patrick Kluivert attempting to recruit him, Aston Villa’s Leandro Bacuna has told AVTV that he still hopes for an international career with the Netherlands in the future.

Bacuna, 23, revealed earlier this month that new Curacao boss Kluivert had sounded him out about committing to the CONCACAF minnows ahead of their World Cup qualification campaign, telling the Daily Mail: “I was even approached last year. I said then that I wanted to think about, which has actually not changed.

“That Kluivert was added to the staff, of course, gives something extra to the invitation.”

Bacuna in fact represented the Netherlands Antilles at Under-20 level, before the nation was dissolved in October 2010 to form the new autonomous countries of Curacao and Saint Maarten.

However, having later gone on to win 10 caps for the Netherlands Under-21s while still at hometown club FC Groningen, the versatile Dutchman still dreams of turning out for the Oranje alongside teammate Ron Vlaar.

“Definitely, It’s still burning inside me,” said Bacuna. “Maybe it’s not quite time now – I’m still trying to improve my game at the moment – but I’ll keep pushing. I’m 23 years old so I have time to go.”

Few would argue that Bacuna’s 2014-15 campaign warrants a Dutch call-up, having been restricted to just seven starts in 16 games this season, but he has impressed in recent weeks when deputising for suspended right-back Alan Hutton.

In addition, the Villa man had a solid debut season in the West Midlands after arriving from Groningen in June 2013, scoring five goals in 35 league games, and believes he could get himself in Guus Hiddink’s plans if he manages to recapture that form.

You never know,” he continued. “I’m going to do my best and maybe I’ll get selected for the qualification games for the Euro Championships.”

Bacuna added how he impressed he’d been with Vlaar’s performances during the Netherlands’ run to the World Cup semi-finals and, while the Villa skipper has endured a testing season due to injuries, believes his compatriot still has an important role to fill in Tim Sherwood’s side.

“It was incredible,” he said of Vlaar's showing in Brazil. “Ron’s a little bit unlucky at the moment, in that he’s injured, but when he gets back the team will be stronger.”

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