The Red Devils have already qualified for the European Championship, but a group win and seed status are still at stake against Azerbaijan. National coach Domenico Tedesco will announce his selection on Friday. What decisions does he make then?
The Red Devils will play Serbia in a friendly match next Wednesday, but they are of course mainly looking forward to the important match against Azerbaijan on Sunday. A win at home is good for a group win and almost certain seed status at the European Championships in Germany itself.
Kevin De Bruyne will not be there yet. The Red Devils’ pivot will continue to recuperate at Manchester City for the time being. And so the question is: who will take his place? Tedesco already tried it with Yannick Carrasco, among others, but so far he has not found the absolute solution.
Although a number of names have been suggested of Belgians who could play in that position. In Sportbar De Flamingo in Erpe-Mere it led to a nice discussion on Monday within the group of friends of Galaxy Oordegem, but we are not the only ones. On the contrary: the analysts have also been busy with it in recent days.
Francky Dury has already made it clear that he would like to see Thorgan Hazard included in the selection again, because he can certainly complement Jérémy Doku. At Anderlecht, Hazard is effectively growing into his best form. Every week he can maintain more minutes, which means that rehabilitation seems to be getting closer.
“In the beginning he thought he was ready immediately and that was not the case,” Gert Verheyen also said Extra Time. “He overestimated himself there, but now he has gradually found it. He was top and the opponents will have to find something to do with it. He does not play as a left winger, but can also roam and also function as a ten. Many opponents will have to do that. to think about.”
For Thorgan Hazard, it has been since the 2022 World Cup that he was a Red Devil. Hans Vanaken, for his part, is also someone who missed out on selection in recent months – it has been since June in Estonia that he was last there.
If there is anyone who can handle the position of playmaker, it is Vanaken. At Sporting Lokeren he was the man who thought faster than everyone, although those times seem to be behind us for a while. But even with slightly worse form over the past year, the Club Brugge player certainly remains an option to replace De Bruyne.
Especially because he – just like Hazard – is having good weeks and therefore seems to be in solid form. He has been playing on the ’10’ for years, which may make it feel even more natural to him than, for example, Carrasco or Hazard, who are more likely to be ‘wingers’.
He himself indicated that he would deserve a selection, Frank Raes and Franky Van der Elst came to Sjotcast with a firm plea for the midfielder. “Just call him up and put him in De Bruyne’s place,” it sounded clear.
The question remains: who would you put in Kevin De Bruyne’s position? One of the two, or someone else if possible? We will also put it in a poll so you can help decide. We will know on Friday afternoon whether they are already in the core, the rest will become clear next week.