Edgardo Bauza was always expected to add some players from Argentine domestic football to his squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualfiers and unsurprisingly they are goalkeeper Mariana Andújar, full-back Emmanuel Mas and centre forward Lucas Alario. However, in light of recent injuries to midfielders Augusto Fernández and Lucas Biglia, El Patón has called up Tigres’ Guido Pizarro.
The 26-year-old has been outstanding in México for Tigres, as he was when still playing for Lanús prior to the transfer in 2013, and more recently was selected by Gerardo Martino when Lucas Biglia was again facing a spell on the sidelines before the Copa América.
Pizarro has been on the cusp of a move to Europe since his days with El Granate and despite perhaps remaining relatively unknown due to his switch to Liga MX, is a good option for Bauza to have available.
It is worth noting that although Pizarro can play as a defensive number five, in a similar role to that of Lucas Biglia alongside Javier Mascherano, but the 26-year-old is far more progressive and if given the license to move forward is more of a box-to-box midfielder. In all honesty a position that has been lacking in Argentina’s midfield for some time now.
Whether Bauza actually throws him into the action for either the match with Peru or Paraguay remains to be seen but there is perhaps a little more variety with his inclusion.
The remaining three call-ups are all as expected given that all three were in the squad for the previous round of qualifiers.
Mariano Andújar has been in excellent form for Estudiantes and will provide back-up to Sergio Romero, Emmanuel Mas played against Uruguay with Marcos Rojo suspended and will continue to compete for the left back position and Lucas Alario impressed on his debut while still scoring regularly for River Plate.
In the case of Alario, Bauza has already suggested that he is very much one for the future and so despite the recall of Gonzalo Higuaín and the return to fitness of Sergio Agüero, Argentina want the 23-year-old around the group. His chances of game time appear to be diminished this time round but he will gain valuable experience from training with the group.