Belgium manager Roberto Martinez says that he’s following Nacer Chadli’s progress at Westerlo closely and is very much open to including him in his World Cup squad.
Chadli joined Westerlo on loan for the season in the hopes of catching Martinez’s attention and impressing enough to force his way back into the Belgium squad in time for the World Cup.
His plan got off to the ideal start with the Spaniard in the stands to watch his debut against Anderlecht at the weekend. He played for an hour and looked good.
Speaking after the match, Martinez said he’s keeping a close eye on the winger and could well take him to Qatar if he performs well in the Pro League.
“We’ve been following him for a long time. He is always on our list,” he told Sporza.
“First he has to become important for Westerlo. Then he’s ready for a step up.”
Many fans would rather younger players be picked with a view to the future, but Martinez isn’t thinking much about age.
“Age is just a number. I don’t think it’s a problem for Nacer. In the Belgian league, he is in his place to work towards his peak again,” he added.