Adnan Januzaj: Manchester United youngster set for Belgium call-up

The 19-year-old has declared which country he will represent

Manchester United midfielder Adnan Januzaj will be included in Belgium's preliminary World Cup squad, head coach Marc Wilmots has confirmed.

Last week Wilmots revealed Januzaj had pledged his international allegiance to Belgium despite interest from England, Albania, Kosovo, Turkey and Serbia.

Januzaj will have a chance to impress Wilmots at a pre-World Cup training camp next month, although the Belgium coach has warned the teenager he is not guaranteed to make his final 23.

"I have seen him play several times and now I want to see him with the squad," Wilmots told Le Soir.

"I will include him in the list of 30 pre-selected players for the World Cup and he will be one of the 26 or 27 players who take part in training in Genk and then in Sweden.

"I prefer to keep the numbers down but Januzaj will be there."

Januzaj joined United from Anderlecht in 2011 and was promoted to the first-team squad last summer following a series of impressive performances in the youth sides.

The 19-year-old made his debut in United's Community Shield win over Wigan last August and he has since gone on to make 32 appearances and score four goals.

 

Wilmots has not promised the flexible teenager he will be going to the World Cup, although the Belgium coach conceded his chances had improved following the news that Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke will miss the tournament in Brazil because of a torn Achilles tendon.

"Things were clear between us: he has received no assurance from me of a place in the World Cup squad," Wilmots added.

"I only said he was selectable. Adnan and his entourage were very receptive and understood the message perfectly.

"The truth will come out on the pitch and he will have to win his place like everyone else.

"What is for sure is that the boy is an interesting player in the absence of Christian Benteke.

"Not many people know but in the Manchester United reserve team, he has often played as a number nine. His versatility is an asset."

The Football Association was keen to get Januzaj to commit to England, even though the player would have had to wait until 2018 to pull on the Three Lions due to residency rules.

But Januzaj, who has Kosovar-Albanian parents, instead chose to represent the country of his birth following a meeting with Wilmots.

"With Adnan and his father, we spoke for a bit more than three hours," the Belgium coach revealed.

"I explained to them both that I know well the sensitivity for a family in Belgium who retain links to their country of origin. I told them whatever Adnan decided would be respected.

"Adnan was born in Brussels, went to school here and his education as a young footballer came at Brussels and Anderlecht before he headed overseas."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with excess, cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings