29 April 2014 | News Comments

Januzaj in preliminary Belgian World Cup squad

Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj will feature in a preliminary Belgium squad for World Cup warm-ups against Luxembourg and Sweden, national coach Marc Wilmots has claimed.

Wilmots, who last week made known Januzaj's decision to play for Belgium, said he had not given any guarantees to the 19-year-old that he would be in the final squad in Brazil.

Wilmots told Belgian newspaper De Morgen that Januzaj had shown he could also play as a centre forward, a useful option given the unavailability of Christian Benteke due to injury.

The coach said he would select Januzaj in an initial squad of 26 or 27 for training camps, including friendlies against Luxembourg in Belgium on 26 May and Sweden in Stockholm on 1 June.

"I first want to see how he is in training. I'll pick 26 or 27 players and say there's only one thing that counts - the pitch. Come on guys, show me what you can do," Wilmots said. 

"That I'll take him on the camp is certain. I think that's normal given his performances in the last year."

Each football association must submit a list of up to 30 players of potential squad members by 13 May, with the final 23 names sent to FIFA by 2 June.

Born in Belgium to ethnic Albanian parents from Kosovo, Januzaj was eligible to play for a number of countries including Belgium, England, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Turkey.

He scored two fine goals in his first Premier League start at Sunderland and has shown great potential in an otherwise poor season for Manchester United.

Belgium, playing in their first World Cup in 12 years, will face Algeria, Russia and South Korea in the group phase in Brazil.