Wout Faes’ career has evolved a lot in recent months. Last summer he was transferred from Stade de Reims to Leicester City in the Premier League, where he quickly acquired regular status and today he will play in the World Cup in Qatar. Quite a progression for a player whose first summons to the Devils dates back a little less than a year and whose only selection dates from June 8 for the Nations League match against Poland (6-1).
Three caps and a cap, Faes was therefore not at all sure of securing a place in Roberto Martinez’s list of 26 players for the World Cup. However, the national coach has decided to renew his central axis. Experienced players like Dedryck Boyata and Jason Denayer were thus dismissed. “I think it’s logical that I had doubts (about my selection, editor’s note), because I haven’t played much here yet,” Faes said during the Diables Rouges press briefing on Monday in Tubize. .
The 24-year-old defender knows what he owes his selection for the World Cup. “My transfer and my performance in England was the decisive factor. The most important thing is that I was able to make the leap to the Premier League. I was immediately started, but the start of the championship was difficult. Fortunately , we were now able to put together a good series. There was never a panic, because we knew that there was enough quality to do better. Today I am here and, of course, I want to play too. The coach makes the choices and I intend to make it as difficult as possible for him.”
Faes “knows the system”
At Leicester, Faes play in a four-man defence, whereas the Devils have operated a three-man defense for years. “At Stade de Reims too we played three behind and at Leicester the full-back moves sometimes, so we also find ourselves three in defence. Then I slide to the left. So I know the system. It plays in my favor that I can hold all positions at the back”.
Immediately after the press conference, Faes and the other 25 Devils set off for the scheduled practice behind closed doors. This is the only training session in Tubize before the World Cup, since the team will leave for Kuwait on Tuesday afternoon. A practice match against Egypt will be played there on Friday.