It was revealed on Tuesday that Belgium manager Roberto Martinez had called Leeds United centre-back Pascal Struijk in a bit to persuade him to switch allegiance to his side.
Struijk has played for the Netherlands at youth level but has dual citizenship.
Now it’s been reported by nieuwsblad.be that Struijk – while not making a decision yet – has applied for a Belgian passport, a necessity to play for the side.
That report also claims that Martinez has told Struijk that he could be called up as soon as the next round of internationals in March.
Belgium are due to play three World Cup qualifiers against Wales (March 24), the Czech Republic (March 27) and Belarus (March 30).
Reportedly, Struijk has been on Martinez’ radar since last season when the youngster made his debut in the Championship.
Huge achievement for Struijk
This would be a fantastic achievement for Struijk but there’s been no word as to which country he’s going to pledge his allegiance to yet.
Playing for the top-ranked side in the world has to be a draw, though, and Struijk will be flattered that Martinez has been watching him in the Championship.
The fact that he’s going to get a run in the Leeds side is a big boost for him, too.
A successful run for Leeds through to March and a debut for Belgium would be fairly incredible, but it’s certainly not out of the question.
For Martinez, the World Cup qualifiers are his last chance to work with his group of players before making the final decision on the Euros squad.
Struijk would probably be looking for some guarantees but we can’t imagine any will be given above getting a chance to show what he can do.
Martinez has an ageing defence with Tottenham veterans Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Thomas Vermaelen.
He’ll need to freshen things up after the Euros and ahead of next years’ World Cup.
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