World Cup 2022: Romelu Lukaku included in Belgium squad despite fitness concerns


By Sedara Oluwadara

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku has been named in Roberto Martinez’s Belgium World Cup squad, despite concerns over his fitness.

The on-loan Chelsea forward, 29, has made only five club appearances this season because of a hamstring injury.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has been selected, alongside six Premier League players.

Leicester City trio Wout Faes, Timothy Castagne and Youri Tielemans are among the players named.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa defender Leander Dendoncker, Everton midfielder Andre Onana and Brighton forward Leandro Trossard make the 26-man squad.

Real Madrid’s former Chelsea forward Eden Hazard captains the side and is joined by team-mate and goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois.

Jan Vertonghen, 35, Toby Alderweireld, 33, Dries Mertens, 35, and Axel Witsel, 33 – who form part of Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ – are among the players in the squad featuring in their third World Cup.

Belgium were World Cup semi-finalists in 2018, suffering a 1-0 defeat to eventual winners France, and quarter-finalists in 2014, losing to Argentina by the same scoreline.

They begin their campaign against Canada on 23 November, before facing Morocco and Croatia in Group F.Belgium

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg)

Defenders: Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), Toby Alderweireld (Antwerp), Leander Dendoncker (Aston Villa), Wout Faes (Leicester City), Arthur Theate (Rennes), Zeno Debast (Anderlecht), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund), Timothy Castagne (Leicester City), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund)

Midfielders: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Andre Onana (Everton), Axel Witsel (Atletico Madrid), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge)

Forwards: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Charles De Ketelaere (AC Milan), Leandro Trossard (Brighton), Dries Mertens (Galatasaray), Jeremy Doku (Rennes), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Michy Batshuayi (Fenerbahce), Lois Openda (Lens)

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