The Argentine Football Association (AFA) has reportedly contacted Cristian Espinoza, Mauricio Martínez and José Luis Gómez to confirm that they will be named in Gerardo Martino’s 18-man squad for the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.
The three players’ clubs were notified today of the decision and appear to be the first confirmed members of the squad that will travel to Brazil looking to add a third Olympic gold.
Huracán’s Cristian Espinoza has been a regular fixture of Humberto Grondona’s under-20 side and helped Los Pibes lift the South American championship which saw Argentina qualify for Rio.
The pacy 21-year-old forward is already being linked with a move away from Parque Patricios this summer with Villarreal and Atalanta ready to pay his €5 million release clause and a place in Argentina’s Olympic squad will only raise his profile.
For José Luis Gómez and Mauricio Martínez it will be a first time wearing the Albiceleste but after impressive league form they have forced their way into Martino’s plans.
22-year-old Gómez was perhaps the Primera División’s standout full back and his endless running and natural width was central to Lanús’ title success. Certainly in a position where Argentina have been woefully short in recent years, El Cafú santiagueño could have an important future for Argentina.
Martínez has been an impressive part of Unión’s side for a couple of years now and looks poised to move this summer regardless of his potential involvement in Rio.
The 23-year-old defensive midfielder is a powerful ball winner who is capable of dropping back into defence and Rosario Central are leading the chase of Primera clubs trying to wrap up a deal early before any European clubs maybe alerted.
With three spaces taken, and another three reserved for the over-23 players, it leaves just 12 places left to fill.
In theory Argentina could take perhaps the strongest squad in the competition but with Juventus denying Paulo Dybala permission, Atlético Madrid potentially doing the same with Ángel Correa and Boca asking that Cristian Pavón is left out due to their Copa Libertadores commitments, Martino’s eventual 18 could be weakened.