BRENDAN RODGERS is more than happy to be without both Dedryck Boyata and Mikael Lustig as he enjoys their World Cup adventures.
Boyata wasn’t even sure that he’d make to squad but he did and not only that was the only outfield player to play every minute of the three qualifying round victories.
He dropped out of the side for the Round of 16 knock-out match with Japan to make way for Vincent Company but the Manchester City defender did not look 100% fit and for a time in that match it looked like Belgium were heading for defeat.
However they fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and manager Roberto Martinez will have to check on Company’s fitness before the mouth watering quarter final against Brazil.
“It goes without saying that neither Dedryck Boyata nor Mikael Lustig will be involved in the foreseeable future.
And while Boyata may get some match time against Brazil, Mikael Lustig is out of Sweden’s quarter final against England who won a penalty shoot out against Colombia to reach this stage. Lustig picked up a second booking of the competition in the 1-0 win over Switzerland so will be suitably refreshed for the semi-final!
“It’s fantastic for them. I’ve obviously been in contact with them throughout the tournament through text and what have you.
“I’m delighted for Dedryck. He’s had a great run in the team before coming out for Vincent Kompany, but he’s still very much a part of their squad. It’s brilliant, the quarter-finals on Friday for him.
‘We just heard the Sweden result there after the game, so for Mika it’s absolutely brilliant. I’m delighted for them both.”
Boyata is linked today with a possible move to Fulham although if you has to list the clubs across Europe looking at potential signings within their price range from players at the World Cup, then the Belgian defender would be pretty much on every list.
And if Rodgers is resigned to being without the two World Cup stars for a little bit longer – they both will get a fortnight’s holiday when their time in Russia is over – then he’s going to be without Nir Bitton for a little longer.
“Nir is still in rehab. He’s probably going to be out until September time.
“That was the target from when he had the operation, so we have him pencilled in for then,” Brendan said.