BBC commentator Adam Pope believes that Leeds United youngster Pascal Struijk would start for Belgium if he switched his allegiance from The Netherlands.
Belgium – the top-rated team in the world at the moment – courted 21-year-old Struijk recently, with manager Roberto Martinez making public overtures to the young Leeds centre-back.
So far, he’s resisted the call but it has to be a tempting offer.
Pope was asked by a Leeds fan on Wednesday night, with Belgium playing Wales in a World Cup qualifier: “Popey, that Belgium backline is full of OAPs, do you reckon Struijk would get a start if he declared?”
Pope replied, “Martinez likes him so yes.”
Martinez likes him so yes.
— Adam Pope (@apopey) March 24, 2021
Belgium backline creaking
Belgium lined up today with a positively creaking backline of Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
Add their ages together and you get exactly 100. It’s no wonder that Martinez is urgently looking at younger options.
The veterans conceded first today, with Wales briefly threatening a shock, before Kevin De Bruyne, Thorgan Hazard and Romelu Lukaku saw normal service being resumed.
For Struijk, it must be very tempting to switch to Belgium if he’s being promised starts.
We couldn’t see that happening for the Euros but with a big rebuild needed afterwards, Struijk would be in the perfect position to make a real name for himself.
International allegiance has to go with where you feel is your home, though, and it seems that for Struijk, that’s the Netherlands.
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