Under-20 coaches Lionel Scaloni & Pablo Aimar take interim charge of Argentina ahead of September friendlies


Finding a suitable replacement for Jorge Sampaoli is proving a tougher task for the Argentine Football Association (AFA) than many care to imagine and so with no immediate successor in place, Lionel Scaloni and Pablo Aimar will take temporary charge of the national team.

Scaloni and his assistant Aimar are currently in Spain with the Argentina under-20s for the COTIF tournament but the pair have been named as caretaker coaches for the senior side ahead of September’s friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia.

“The AFA informs that, after the meeting of the executive committee, Lionel Scaloni will direct the next friendlies of the Argentine national team, along with his assistants Pablo Aimar and Martín Tocalli,” read a statement from the AFA.

AFA president Claudio Tapia has appeared in no rush to name Jorge Sampaoli’s successor and so Argentina may well remain under temporary leadership until the end of the year.

“The three international matches we are going to play between now and the end of the year will be led by Scaloni and Aimar,” Tapia told Olé.

“Later we will decide who will assume the role permanently. We are going to take our time to make the right choice.”

The right choice is far from clear with the likes of Diego Simeone or Mauricio Pochettino near impossibilities making the AFA’s task all the more complicated.

It is of course worth noting too that Sampaoli was an almost unanimous choice as the AFA embarked on a long-term project prior to the disaster in Russia.

Building towards Qatar 2022 is once more the target for the next AFA appointment and while it looks unlikely that Scaloni and Aimar are the answer, the seem like a safe pair of hands to steer the national team through these uncharted waters.

Argentina play Guatemala on September 7th in Las Vegas before heading to New Jersey for a date with Colombia four days later.

Lionel Messi looks unlikely to feature as he takes some time off from the the Albiceleste and with the likes of Javier Mascherano retiring, Scaloni could oversee a new look Argentina with a long overdue injection of youth.

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