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Kompany back in Belgium squad

Vincent Kompany has earned a recall to the Belgium squad for this month’s international matches against Netherlands and Estonia.

The 30-year-old has made three appearances for Manchester City this season since recovering from a groin injury and has been given a spot in Roberto Martinez’s squad in place of the injured Toby Alderweireld.

Full-back Thomas Foket has been called up for the first time, while Thorgan Hazard has recovered sufficiently from a knee problem to join brother Eden.

When asked if Kompany could feature in both the World Cup qualifier with Estonia and the friendly against Netherlands, Martinez said:  “I think the answer will depend a little on this weekend.

“We’re in good communication with Manchester City. Whether he plays 90 minutes or not [against Middlesbrough] will determine if he plays two games.

“We’ve really gone into detail with Vincent and he’s ready. The amount of minutes will depend on the need of the games but we’ll never put the programme he has at risk.

“We’re really looking forward to getting him back to the group. He’s an experienced player and I want him to see the new settings. His experience will be good for some of the young players.”

On Gent defender Foket, he added: “It’s an interesting choice. Foket is a footballer I was very impressed by against Shakhtar Donetsk, he gives great potential. I don’t think we’ve seen his best level in the pro-league this season but I think he needs the next challenge now.”

There was no place again for Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, with Martinez stressing that the 28-year-old must recover full fitness first.

“He had to miss the previous call-up and I still feel he needs to get back to his full match fitness,” he said. 

“I felt this was too close and we need to allow the players in his position [to play]. We’ll review the situation in March.”

Belgium face Netherlands on November 9 before taking on Estonia four days later.

 

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Mats Selz (Newcastle United).

Defenders: Luis Cavanda (Galatasaray), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Thomas Foket (Gent), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Christian Kabasele (Watford), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Steven Defour (Burnley), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht), Axel Witsel (Zenit).

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Yannick Ferreira Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Kevin Mirallas (Everton), Divock Origi (Liverpool).

Fri 4 Nov, 2016
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