By Graham Hill
VILLA defender Bjorn Engels’ early season performances could be about to earn him his first Belgium cap.
Engels has combined well with Tyrone Mings at the heart of the Villa defence since his £9million arrival from French side Reims this summer.
And that has brought him to the attention of Belgium manager Roberto Martinez as he prepares to name his squad for the Euro2020 qualifiers against San Marino and Scotland.
The ex-Everton boss has selection worries in defence as Vincent Kompany is injured, Jan Vertonghen is out of sorts at Tottenham while Dedryck Boyata has yet to play for Hertha Berlin.
According to HLN in Belgium, Martinez is considering handing a first cap to a new player.
And while Koln youngster Sebastiaan Bornauw is in contention, Engels, 24, is emerging as a favourite.
Martinez now feels that Engels’ displays, now that he is playing in the Premier League, are giving him more credibility when it comes to being considered for international football.
HITC reports the Belgium boss as saying: “Engels is doing very well in his first matches in the Premier League.
“As a central defender you will be tested more there, and he always received good reports. His coach is also very enthusiastic. He was calm and confident.”