Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has explained why Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has left the Belgium camp early.
The City assist king appeared to request to come off during Belgium’s 2-1 defeat to England and will not feature in his national side’s match against Iceland, and Martinez was asked if there was pressure from the blues to keep de Bruyne out of the game so he could feature against Arsenal at the weekend.
However, Martinez has denied that was the case and says the decision to allow de Bruyne to leave was to prevent the situation becoming more serious for the midfielder.
“The opposite” Martinez replied when asked. “With Manchester City we always had a strong and respectful relationship and in this case it was just to try and get the best solution for the well-being of Kevin. Obviously Kevin, or any player for that matter, needs to be 100 per cent ready to play. We need to find the right treatment and we are working with Manchester City.
“The decision was to take as long as we can to get Kevin right. We don’t want this to be an issue that he develops through the season. You know how demanding the club season is and then we are going to have the Euros at the end of it.”
De Bruyne is a doubt for the match against Arsenal, and there are concerns over Raheem Sterling, who withdrew from the England squad with a hamstring issue.