Bart Verbruggen said playing against Ajax at the Johan Cruyff Arena was on his footballing bucket list.

He celebrated ticking it off by returning to play there for his country nine days later.

This time he got the better changing room down the corridor as part of the home side.

He had been there before all this, when making his senior international debut for Holland at home to France earlier this season.

On that occasion, there was some criticism of him on the first goal he conceded as the French won 2-1.

But it has been all good news since then.

A little bit of luck has allowed him to keep clean sheets on both recent visits.

Firstly, when Brian Brobbey hit both posts in Albion’s win over Ajax.

Secondly, when he allowed Adam Idah’s deflected shot to squirm under his body and over the line in the Holland v Republic of Ireland game on Saturday.

As the Irish celebrated an equaliser, the flag went up for offside against Idah.

Relief all round for the Dutch. Verbruggen had a let-off, the clean sheet and the win survived and Holland’s planned qualification party for Euro 2024 could go ahead.

Had it ended in a 1-1 draw, the Oranje would have regretted various missed chances at the other end.

But there would probably have been an accusing glance or two casts in the way of the goalkeeper.

It feels a little like the Albion keeper, who has otherwise been very solid in those two matches, is on trial to a degree in terms of public opinion when he goes back to the Netherlands.

That much was clear from one of the questions asked of him in the aftermath of Albion’s win at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

(The same goes for Jan Paul van Hecke, by the way).

A long way beneath the steep stands of that imposing venue – the premier stadium in the Netherlands – Verbruggen stopped to answer a few questions from reporters a week ago last Thursday.

There were a couple of us who had travelled from Sussex and a reporter looking at it from a Dutch angle.

He asked Verbruggen how important it was for him to show what he could do to a Dutch audience.

The question was as interesting as the answer – and a reminder that, until now, Verbruggen has been a relatively unknown talent in his homeland.

He left NAC Breda when he was 17 and went across the border to play for Anderlecht, then joined the Seagulls last summer.

Until recently, he had played just one game of senior club football in his homeland – for Anderlecht at AZ Alkmaar last season.

And it ended in bitter disappointment.

Here, in the Dutch capital before jetting back to England, he told us: “I was quite young when I joined Anderlecht and I never really played in the Dutch league.

“To come here and play in this stadium and against this team was something on my bucket list and I’m happy we won.”

Verbruggen and Jason Steele have been asked a few times since the start of the season about sharing goalkeeping duties.

Verbruggen has still yet to play more than two games in a row while Steele has had a more extended run.

It could make for an end-of-season quiz for Albion fans – name the starting goalkeeper for a given fixture.

A suggestion that rotation had ceased was misinterpreted by some The regular rotation – two games in, two games out - ceased but De Zerbi is still chopping and changing his keepers.

He sees Verbruggen as potentially one of the best in Europe, which would make him the No.1 for both club and country.

The evidence so far is he has poise on the ball, presence between the posts and is a strong shot-stopper.

It also feels like he has the occasional error in him – as can happen with young keepers.

He got away with one against the Republic but not so, for example, when Bournemouth came to the Amex.

That said, he came through two successive away games in testing environments, at Goodison Park and Ajax, with flying colours.

When speaking to him face-to-face, he strikes you as a confident, easy-going and eloquent individual who enjoys talking.

His English, as you would expect from a Dutchman, is pretty much impeccable.

It is perhaps easy to forget how raw a talent he is.

He is only 21. He only played 17 games in the Belgian league for the senior Anderlecht side, as well as 13 in other competitions, including Europe.

His one previous club appearance in Holland was not a distinguished occasion as he was outshone by one of his Albion predecessors, Maty Ryan.

Two early goals gave AZ parity on aggregate in their two-leg Euro tussle with Anderlecht.

Ryan then saved twice in the shoot-out while AZ scored four out of four.

"Disappointment – that's all I feel for the moment,” Verbruggen admitted after the game.

“If I look back at our journey in the Europa Conference League this season, we can only be proud – but now I'm just disappointed."

So no wonder there is curiosity in Holland about him – and a desire on his part to show the Dutch what he is all about.

Unlike De Zerbi, it appears Holland boss Ronald Koeman is keen to keep things settled between the posts.

He was at the Arena to see Verbruggen keep his clean sheet against Ajax, which included a couple of decent saves from longish range efforts in the first half and a parry from Chuba Akpom late on.

That was the night 25 of Verbruggen's former Anderlecht team-mates made the two-hour journey on the team bus to support him .

Having played in the previous international window versus France and Greece, Koeman made it clear at the start of last week that Verbruggen was his first choice.

He said: "It's close to an ideal situation as it is now.

"We sat down with the goalkeepers this morning (last Monday) and indicated who is going to play - that is Bart Verbruggen.

"In March it was Jasper Cillessen, during the Nations League finals Justin Bijlow. Mark Flekken was the goalkeeper during the international break in September and Verbruggen in October.

"But they've all done pretty well. I think it's logical based on the past two games that Bart is the goalkeeper.

"You want to create peace in that position, "It's crazy to have a different goalkeeper in the last four periods but, luckily, we have some good goalkeepers."

Koeman will not make a final decision until just before the Euros over which three goalkeepers he will take to the tournament.

He said: "During the next international period, in March, we will look again at who we think is the best goalkeeper, but, if you look at the footballing ability of the Dutch goalkeepers, I think we have the best three together now."

For Verbruggen, that now appears to mean an outing at the Estadio do Algarve as Holland face Gibraltar.

Then, by quirk of fate, club and international football could send him to the same venue twice in a short period, as happened in Amsterdam.

Verbruggen’s first win with the Oranje was by a 1-0 scoreline over Greece at the OPAP Arena, home of AEK Athens and Albion’s destination in the Europa League next week.

Another win and clean sheet double would do very nicely.