Thierry Henry joins Red Devils staff in surprise move

In a surprise move, former striker Thierry Henry of France is joining the technical staff of the Belgian national football team, the Red Devils. Henry, a former French international and Arsenal great, will take up the function as T3 alongside new coach Roberto Martinez. Englishman Graeme Jones will act as Martinez' first assistant as T2. Martinez repeatedly said he wants the Red Devils to take a fresh start.

Spaniard Robert Martinez, a former Everton coach, was only appointed by the Belgian FA some weeks ago. Football fans were looking forward to his first international squad, and whether his choice of players would be a lot different from that of his predecessor, Marc Wilmots.

However, the biggest news at Martinez'  first major press conference came from somewhere else. Thierry Henry is to join the technical staff. He will pass on his experience to the players, and the right mentality. "We are here to help really develop the talent we have. We need to support the players. Our contact time with players through the year is limited so we need to make a big impact", explained Martinez.

The Spaniard added: "Thierry brings something completely different. He is someone who can develop our chances of winning something special. It was not difficult to persuade him to join this project. Belgium is a unique case and he was keen straight away to get on board."

Also joining the staff is Englishman Graeme Jones, but this is less of a surprise as Jones also worked with Martinez at Everton.

Thorgan Hazard called to the squad

As to the players, Steven Defour, who recently joined Burnley, was recalled to the squad. Martinez explained he was impressed by his mentality. Also returning are Newcastle goalkeeper Matz Sels and winger Kevin Mirallas of Everton.

Martinez also called playmaker Thorgan Hazard to the team, the younger brother of Chelsea's Eden. Thorgan is in splendid form with Mönchengladbach at present.

Belgium are hosting Spain in a friendly on 1 September, before taking on Cyprus in Nicosia on 6 September, their first qualifier for the 2018 World Championships.