Jorge Sampaoli may have stressed that he has not selected the squad despite admitting on Friday that the Argentine Football Association and Sevilla were negotiating his ‘dream’ move but the list of 20 players for next month’s friendlies against Brazil and Singapore suggests the 57-year-old has had some say in the new additions.
Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano remain but despite his good club form, Sergio Agüero is the high-profile casualty from the new-look squad.
However, it is the new blood that is creating headlines and none more so than Mauro Icardi, who is back in Argentina contention after more than three and a half years since his debut.
24 league goals and eight assists this season in a struggling Inter side is reason enough for Icardi’s inclusion but his record in Serie A has been largely ignored under previous managers amid rumours that Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi have blocked his call-up as a result of his marriage to Maxi López’s ex-wife.
Whether it is Sampaoli or not, whoever selected the recent squad obviously felt enough was enough and so Icardi is back.
Among the other fresh faces were Alejandro Papu Gómez, who has been sensational for Atalanta this season, Leandro Paredes, a breathe of fresh air to the somewhat stale Argentina midfield, Joaquín Correa, Manuel Lanzini, Eduardo Salvio, Emanuel Mammana and Guido Rodríguez.
Mascherano being considered a centre back, as had been suggested, still only leaves the squad with four defenders in what appears a very attacking system but players from the Argentine Primera are due to be added and among them will be Jonatan Maidana, Javier Pinola, Nicolás Tagliafico, Nacho Fernández, Marcos Acuña and Lucas Alario.
El Dto. de Selecciones Nacionales y el CE de AFA dieron a conocer la lista de jugadores del exterior convocados para los próximos amistosos. pic.twitter.com/n6o6x1diHK
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) May 19, 2017