Roberto Martinez selected 32 players, including a newcomer. Charles De Ketelaere receives a letter of summons for the first time in the letterbox. “He’s been playing impressively all season. At Club Brugge and at the U21.”
“He will be able to play for the U21 in the important match against Bosnia, but it is important that he can taste the atmosphere at the Red Devils before that.” Sebastiaan Bornauw and Alexis Saelemaekers also belong to the selections of the A-team and the U21.
Ritchie De Laet is not rewarded for his strong performance at Antwerp. “He is very active and shows himself very mature. We will certainly continue to follow him, because the door of the national team is always open to new players,” said Martinez.
The brothers Eden and Thorgan Hazard, Thomas Vermaelen and Nacer Chadli are back with a vengeance. “The way Eden moves on the field for Real Madrid, you can see that he is pain free. He feels good and we look forward to seeing him again. We have to be patient.”
“Thomas Vermaelen is there again because the Japanese government now allows him to travel without having to be quarantined afterwards when he returns. Thomas has missed two international breaks, so it is time for him to be there again.”
The chance that Axel Witsel, just like at his club Borussia Dortmund, will have to put down at the center at the back is therefore very small. “At his age he can play in many positions”, Martinez said. “We enjoyed his performance as a center-back, but I mainly saw a player that we can use in midfield, rather than as a defender.”
Yannick Carrasco and Timothy Castagne are the only players who are not there due to injuries.
Romelu Lukaku was summoned. Whether that is to the liking of his club Inter, is the question. Lukaku did not play in the Champions League against Real Madrid this week with a muscle injury.
“There has been contact with Inter,” said Martinez. “We will receive him on Monday at the group and have medical examinations. Then we will decide whether he will make this international break.”
There is no trace of Divock Origi, who is sidetracked at Liverpool, as an alternative to Lukaku. “We know him well. Now is the time to look at other players.”
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