Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Uncapped Lavia in but Witsel out for Belgium´s first squad under Tedesco

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Mar 2023

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Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia has earned his first senior Belgium call-up but there is no place for Axel Witsel in Domenico Tedesco’s first squad as coach

The Saints man enters the fray in the Red Devils’ first selection following Roberto Martinez’s exit at the conclusion of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Lavia, a Belgium youth international, is the only new name among a squad that mixes experience and youth, including the country’s most-capped player in Anderlecht’s Jan Vertonghen.

But Atletico Madrid midfielder Witsel, who only trails Vertonghen when it comes to appearances for the national team, is an eye-catching omission as Tedesco looks to leave his mark.

Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski has been recalled in place of the retired Simon Mignolet.

Other names earning a return to the fold include Nottingham Forest midfielder Orel Mangala and Wolfsburg defender Sebastiaan Bornauw, both of whom were last capped against Burkina Faso a year ago.

Belgium open their Euro 2024 qualification campaign against Sweden next Friday, before they play a friendly against hosts Germany a week on Tuesday.

The team endured a lacklustre World Cup campaign last year, failing to progress from Group F after defeat against Morocco and a goalless draw with Croatia.

Belgium squad: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Thomas Kaminski (Blackburn Rovers), Matz Sels (Strasbourg); Sebastiaan Bornauw (Wolfsburg), Timothy Castagne (Leicester City), Zeno Debast (Anderlecht), Wout Faes (Leicester City), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund), Arthur Theate (Rennes), Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht); Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Charles De Ketelaere (Milan), Romeo Lavia (Southampton). Orel Mangala (Nottingham Forest), Amadou Onana (Everton), Dennis Praet (Leicester City), Alexis Saelemaekers (Milan); Jeremy Doku (Rennes), Romelu Lukaku (Inter), Dodi Lukebakio (Hertha BSC), Lois Openda (Lens), Leandro Trossard (Arsenal).

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