Is Belgium’s head coach Domenico Tedesco playing a risky game not using a full 26-man squad for Euro 2024?

Injuries appear to be pilling up for Domenico Tedesco and Belgium ahead of the European Championships in Germany. Arthur Theate and Jan Vertonghen have not been able to play for weeks now and will miss the opener against Slovakia. Yesterday, Thomas Meunier had to leave the pitch before the 20 minute mark with an injury. Head coach Domenico Tedesco admitted that it did not look good for the 32-year-old former Dortmund and PSG defender. However, he also then went on to say that he would be happy to go into the tournament with a squad of 24 players.

With two injured players already, this seems an unnecessary risk from Tedesco. There are certainly options out there that could ensure the squad isn’t a few more injuries away from really struggling. Without Meunier and missing Theate for a game, Bologna’s Alexis Saelemaekers should really be added to the squad. He is versatile and can cover multiple positions, having scored four goals and provided three assists in Serie A this season. For central defence cover, Tedesco could always look to another Serie A man in Koni De Winter, who had a strong season for Genoa.

It is understandable why a head coach would rather work with a smaller squad, as he doesn’t have to manage too many players and can really focus on what needs to be done. However, tournament football is unpredictable, and a 24 man squad that already has two injured players is a risk, one that isn’t necessary given that there are players out there who could provide emergency cover when required.

Belgium open their tournament against Slovakia on Monday the 17th of June.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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