Argentina have called up River Plate midfielder and veteran of the 2014 World Cup campaign Enzo Pérez as a replacement for the injured Manuel Lanzini.
Lanzini ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in training on Friday and after weighing up the midfield options, Argentina have opted for Pérez.
The 32-year-old has 23 caps for Argentina, having featured three times under Alejandro Sabella at the World Cup in Brazil, including the semi-final and final and recently came into the side for the decisive win over Ecuador in qualifying.
[SELECCIÓN MAYOR] El volante Enzo Pérez será el futbolista que reemplazará a Manuel Lanzini en la convocatoria. pic.twitter.com/0mUb7ygs7r
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) June 9, 2018
“It’s a shame that I’m going because of the injury of a teammate but I travel to Russia to make a huge effort,” Pérez told TyC Sports ahead of his call-up.
“Now I must wake-up from this dream.”
While Pérez is unlikely to cause much excitement among supporters or strike fear into opposition, the experienced midfielder was the best option available to Jorge Sampaoli.
This experience and familiarity with much of the squad will require no period of acclimatisation and despite not perhaps standing out Pérez does the simple things with great efficiency.
100% – Enzo Pérez 🇦🇷 was the only Argentine player to complete 100% of his passes in the last two games of the WC Qualifiers: 18/18 v Perú, 31/31 v Ecuador. Replacement? https://t.co/YDSG7MISMh
— OptaJavier (@OptaJavier) June 8, 2018