Former Everton and current Belgium national team manager Roberto Martinez was interviewed by Belgian outlet Sport Foot Magazine and commented on the situation of Radja Nainggolan, who is likely to miss out on the Red Devils’ call-up list when it is revealed tomorrow. These are his words:
Is the non-selection of Nainggolan linked to tactics?
I realise how popular he is but my role is to choose players that can provide balance to my team. Right now, we have two number 10’s: Mertens and Hazard, who have been at their best. Radja was at his best when playing behind Dzeko with freedom. We don’t have that role in our team so he struggled when playing there.
The general public believes Radja is a #6 or a #8.
One of his best qualities is when he can move toward the center of the pitch and shoot on goal from range. He didn’t play well against Russia, Czech Republic, and Greece though, as a #10. He’s a guy with enormous potential but he can’t be the 15th or 16th man on a team, he needs a prominent role.