The news that Jorge Sampaoli had added Atlético Madrid forward Ángel Correa to the Argentina squad on Friday led many to question why Paulo Dybala or Mauro Icardi were still left unused but with the update that Benfica winger Eduardo Salvio is now injured, the decision is perhaps a little clearer.
Argentina face Italy in Manchester on Friday before taking on Spain next Tuesday in two key friendlies ahead of the World Cup but will do so without Eduardo Salvio after team doctors confirmed that the 27-year-old has not fully recovered from knee surgery earlier this year.
Salvio suffered a knee injury playing for Benfica and only had surgery at the start of February. However, nearing a return to fitness, Sampaoli called the former Lanús wideman for the national team medical staff to take a closer look.
Sampaoli has been keen on utilising Salvio as something of a makeshift right wing-back in his favoured 3-3-3-1 formation so far during his tenure but will now be forced into other plans.
Whether or not Sampaoli will stay with this formation or switch to a back four is still not clear but Independiente youngster Fabricio Bustos will now be in pole position to make his debut against Italy.
[SELECCIÓN MAYOR] Ángel Correa, delantero del Atlético de Madrid, fue convocado para los amistosos de la Selección Argentina por Europa pic.twitter.com/bUolTlqUtL
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) March 16, 2018
Although there could be another option after the inclusion of Ángel Correa from the stand-by list last Friday.
Sampaoli’s visit to Atlético Madrid’s training ground on one of his extensive European tours was reportedly to discuss with Correa the possibility of operating on the right. The 23-year-old has been terrific form for Atleti this season, admittedly in his more usual attacking role, but may yet be an option for Argentina.
The Argentina squad have already begun working at Manchester City’s training ground as players arrive and with Sergio Agüero a major doubt for both friendlies, it isn’t known whether Sampaoli will be tempted to bring another from his stand-by players.
Agüero works separate from the group and having already been ruled out of Friday’s game, the chances of making it back for the match in Madrid look slim.
Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi and Papu Gómez remain at the ready should the attack need bolstering.