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Belgium coach Tedesco appreciative of Man City's use of winger Doku ahead of internationals

Fri, Nov 10, 2023
Soccer News (AP)

Belgium coach Tedesco appreciative of Man City's use of winger Doku ahead of internationals

BRUSSELS (AP) - Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco likes the way Manchester City is taking care of Jeremy Doku by not making him play every minute of a demanding season.

Tedesco is now likely to show the same care of Doku when Belgium takes on Serbia and Azerbaijan.

Doku, who signed for Manchester City from Rennes in the off-season, has settled quickly in the north of England amid intense competition in a star-studded team.

He was included Friday in Belgium's 26-man squad for the friendly against Serbia on Wednesday and the European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan four days later. Both matches will be played at the King Baudouin stadium.

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"Many players play now these kind of weeks with two games, we take it into consideration," Tedesco told reporters when asked about Doku's heavy schedule.

Earlier this week, the highly-rated 21-year-old winger played just 13 minutes in a Champions League game against Young Boys, yet produced the most dribbles of any player in the game, according to Opta statistics.

His six completed dribbles were also the most on record in a Champions League match for a player who entered the pitch in the 80th minute or later.

Tedesco said: "With Jeremy, the situation is very positive. They (City) also care about him, not playing let's say, 90 minutes, 90 minutes, 90 minutes. They split the time, they have also the quality to do it. And we really appreciate the way it's going there."

Belgium qualified for the European Championship in Germany next year by beating Austria 3-2 last month in Group F. Tedesco made clear the main priority is the game against Azerbaijan and said he will experiment against Serbia.

"Of course we are going to try something, we are going to test something, but nothing crazy, nothing wild, nothing that we can say afterwards we will never need again," Tedesco said. "But things that probably we will need in some situations during our games, during the Euros probably."

Tedesco selected experienced Anderlecht defender Jan Vertonghen despite his slight ankle injury, saying that he could be fit to play against Azerbaijan.

The team will again be without injured Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois.


Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Matz Sels (Strasbourg), Arnaud Bodart (Standard Liege), Thomas Kaminski (Luton)

Defenders: Ameen Al-Dakhil (Burnley), Timothy Castagne (Fulham), Zeno Debast (Anderlecht), Wout Faes (Leicester), Arthur Theate (Rennes), Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), Zinho Vanheusden (Standard Liege), Alexis Saelemaekers (AC Milan)

Midfielders: Orel Mangala (Nottingham Forest), Yannick Carrasco (Al Shabab), Amadou Onana (Everton), Youri Tielemans (Aston Villa), Aster Vranckx (Wolfsburg), Arthur Vermeeren (Royal Antwerp)

Forwards: Johan Bakayoko (PSV Eindhoven), Michy Batshuayi (Fenerbahce), Olivier Deman (Werder Bremen), Jeremy Doku (Manchester City), Romelu Lukaku (AS Roma), Dodi Lukebakio (Sevilla), Lois Openda (Leipzig), Leandro Trossard (Arsenal)


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

SAMUEL PETREQUIN Petrequin is covering European news and sports. twitter mailto "
Article Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
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