Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku has played a grand total of 29 minutes in the last two months, and has just barely 250 minutes across five appearances to his name for the season, but he was one of the 26 players named to the Belgium national team squad earlier today for the 2022 World Cup.
Since his glorious return (on loan, for now at least) to Inter Milan in the summer, Lukaku has spent most of his time dealing with a hamstring injury and related fitness concerns, suffering a setback two weeks ago after an attempted comeback following two months on the sidelines. But evidently he’s fit enough for the tournament, or at least those who are making this decision are hoping that he’s fit enough to play and make an impact.
Lukaku is just one of several familiar faces in the squad, joining ex-Chelsea friends Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi, Kevin De Bruyne, Thorgan Hazard, and Thibaut Courtois, as Belgium’s Golden Generation attempt one more shot at a major trophy. They will take on Croatia, Canada, and Morocco in Group F.
The full 26-man squad for head coach Roberto Martínez is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Koen Casteels (Vfl Wolfsburg)
DEFENDERS: Toby Alderweireld (Antwerp), Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), Arthur Theate (Rennes), Zeno Debast (Anderlecht), Wout Faes (Leicester City), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund)
MIDFIELDERS: Axel Witsel (Atlético Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Yannick Carrasco (Atlético Madrid), Charles De Ketelaere (AC Milan), Leandro Trossard (Brighton), Amadou Onana (Everton), Leander Dendoncker (Aston Villa), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge), Timothy Castagne (Leicester City)
FORWARDS: Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan, on loan from Chelsea), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Dries Mertens (Galatasaray), Michy Batshuayi (Fenerbahçe), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund), Loïs Openda (Lille), Jérémy Doku (Rennes)