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'If Henry wants to come back, we're here' – Hazard & Lukaku throw support behind former Belgium coach

10:41 GMT 27/01/2019
Thierry Henry Eden Hazard Belgium 2018
The 1998 World Cup winner, who was a member of the Red Devils’ staff in Russia last year, was dismissed by Monaco after three months at the helm

Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku have expressed their support for sacked Monaco boss Thierry Henry, with both admitting they would welcome him back to the Belgium fold with open arms.

The 41-year-old left his post as the right-hand man to Roberto Martinez in the Red Devils set-up to take the reins at the Ligue 1 club in October.

But following a disappointing three months in charge, the Frenchman was dismissed after mustering only four wins in 20 games, to be replaced by the man he himself succeeded, Leonardo Jardim.

Speaking in the wake of his exit however, Chelsea striker Hazard and Manchester United forward Lukaku, both of whom worked with Henry at last year’s World Cup in Russia, have offered high praise of the former Arsenal star’s coaching skills.

Belgium defied expectations to finish third at the showpiece tournament, topping Group G before knocking out Japan and Brazil en route to the semi-finals.

Though they suffered a slim defeat to eventual champions France in the last four, they rallied to claim the bronze position in the third-place play-off against England.

Speaking to Eleven Sports after victory over Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final, Hazard was effusive in his assessment of Henry’s abilities.

“He did good [work with us] at Belgium,” the 28-year-old stated. “Monaco was not doing well this year, he was in trouble. He tried to get things right.

“He did not succeed [but] he has my full support. I do not worry, I know he'll be a great coach in the future.

“We [would] welcome him. If he wants to come back, we're here.”

Manchester United striker Lukaku also expressed a desire to see Henry return to the Belgium set-up.

“It's a pity he lost his job in Monaco, but now I hope he'll be back in the national team,” the 25-year-old told reporters.

“He'll come back, because we need him.”

Belgium have only lost once since the World Cup, against Switzerland in the last match of their Nations League A Group 2 games – but that defeat cost them a place at this year’s finals in Portugal.

They next begin their Euro 2020 qualification campaign in March, against Russia in Group I, with games against Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan and San Marino also in the pipeline.