Despite not featuring for Argentina in over two years, Lucas Alario has been handed a surprise return by Lionel Scaloni ahead of next month’s friendlies against Chile and Mexico.
The 26-year-old striker has made only two brief substitute appearances for Bayer Leverkusen so far this season but with attacking players already missing and Argentina wary of others potentially being involved in transfers late in the European window, Scaloni has opted to bring in Alario for cover.
Argentina play Chile in Los Angeles on September 5th before travelling to San Antonio to take on Mexico five days later with Lautaro Martínez and Adolfo Gaich the only two other number nines named in the squad previously.
#SelecciónMayor Lucas Alario fue citado a la lista de convocados para los amistosos ante Chile y México. pic.twitter.com/gPP4lGXJWK
— Selección Argentina 🇦🇷 (@Argentina) August 26, 2019
Paulo Dybala, one of the other options in attack, and currently on Scaloni’s list represents one of the transfer concerns for Argentina.
With the European transfer window closing a few days before the Chile game on September 2nd and Dybala still linked with a move away from Juventus there is the possibility of the player requiring time to conclude any such deal and therefore not being with the group ahead of the match.
In order to avoid any such disruption it is understood that this is the thinking behind Alario’s late inclusion to the squad.
Estos son los futbolistas convocados para la #SelecciónMayor y #Sub23 que jugarán amistosos en el mes de septiembre en fecha FIFA 👇 pic.twitter.com/oI9tqXYwSP
— Selección Argentina 🇦🇷 (@Argentina) August 18, 2019