Brussels – Manchester United's teenager winger Adnan Januzaj, who recently announced he would represent Belgium at international level, has been given a chance to prove his World Cup credentials by national coach Marc Wilmots.
Januzaj will be among a group of 26 or 27 players who take part in a pre-World Cup training camp, from which the final squad of 23 for the June 12 to July 13 tournament in Brazil will emerge.
“The truth will come from the pitch. He'll have to win his place like everyone,” Wilmots told Le Soir newspaper.
“What is sure is that the boy has a very interesting profile in the absence of (injured) Christian Benteke: it is not well known but as a reserve for MU he often played No9. His versatility is an advantage,” said Wilmots.
The 19-year-old – who has been at United since he was 16 and has made several eye-catching performances this season – could have played for Albania, Turkey, Kosovo, Serbia or even England.
Januzaj is of Kosovar descent but was born in Belgium and came through the Anderlecht academy before leaving for England.
He became much sought-after by national sides after making his mark for United, one of the few positives in what has been a woeful season for the outgoing English champions and which saw manager David Moyes sacked.
It will be Belgium's first appearance in the World Cup since 2002. – Sapa-AFP