Burnley's boy wonder Anass Zaroury — who contributed to the demise of East Lancs rivals Blackburn Rovers at the weekend — receives late call-up for the World Cup in Qatar
Burnley wonderkid Anass Zaroury is flying out to Qatar to feature in the 2022 World Cup after receiving a late call-up.
The 22-year-old winger, who has taken the Championship by storm since being handed his chance following his switch from Charleroi in the summer, will head straight out to the tournament, which begins on Sunday.
The Mechelen-born goalscorer won't be representing his native Belgium, however, despite featuring for his country at Under 17, Under 18 and Under 21 level during his international career.
In fact, Zaroury, whose last run out for Jacky Mathijssen's side came in a 2-2 draw against France in September, will be going up against the Red Devils in the group stages after being selected to play for Morocco.
The ex-Lommel man has been a revelation for the Clarets having made his first start for the club in a 1-0 win over Coventry City at the CBS Arena last month.
He went on to score his first goal in England in the following game against Swansea City, adding an assist in the 4-0 win in the process, and is now sitting pretty on eight goal contributions in all competitions.
The last of his six goals so far came on Remembrance Sunday in the East Lancashire derby victory over Blackburn Rovers when steering the ball home in the 74th minute after Thomas Kaminski had repelled an Ashley Barnes volley.
"It's a player who I knew from when he was much younger," said Kompany. "You can look into performances, but a lot of the time if you have a clear idea of what you want players to do for your team then it's just about whether they can tick the boxes.
"For example, can he keep the ball under pressure? Yes. Can he run in behind? Yes. Can he take a player one-on-one. Yes. Does he work hard when we don't have the ball?
"I think you've all seen it. Yes. Tick a box. In the end when he has the right attitude you just go and do it and then you back him. You monitor behaviour, and attitude.
"If he's doing well, he plays, if he's drifting a little bit, somebody else plays. Talented players just need a push at the right time and they just need slowing down when they're getting carried away. He's a talented player."
Zaroury will replace Amine Harit for the North African side after the Olympique Marseille forward suffered an injury in the Ligue 1 clash away at Monaco at the weekend.
Nations are permitted to change players ahead of the tournament when injuries occur, which could pave the way for Burnley's golden boy to show his credentials on the biggest stage possible. Morocco will also take on 2018 finalists Croatia and Canada in their group.
Kompany finished: "I'm not surprised [he came to Burnley in the Championship]. If there's one thing I've done since I started my career, it's working with teams that have a lot of turnover and with very young players.
"I've known nothing different and I think players know that as well. We've been able to help those players a lot so for him he feels he is in the right environment."