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Isco and Diego Costa are among the players to miss out on places in Luis Enrique’s Spain squad to face Norway and Malta in the upcoming UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Enrique announced his selection on Friday, which includes Alvaro Morata and Getafe striker Jaime Mata as attacking options:
Selección Española de Fútbol @SeFutbol
⚠ OFICIAL | Lista de convocados para los próximos partidos ante Noruega y Malta. ¡Comenzamos nuestro camino hacia la #EURO2020!
ESPN’s David Cartlidge was quick to note those absent from the squad, and some new faces:
David Cartlidge @davidjaca
Omissions from the squad include Isco, Koke, Saúl. Major changes in midfield essentially. Form of Parejo and particularly Canales has been outstanding. https://t.co/Wij8cYzZAG
It is perhaps no surprise that Isco is missing after he fell out of favour at Real Madrid under Santiago Solari.
The Argentinian was relieved of his duties on Monday but gave Isco just 15 appearances during his four-month reign, with only one start.
As for Costa, he is still yet to make an appearance for Spain under Enrique. On this occasion, his fitness could be the cause of his exclusion, though, as he has missed Atletico Madrid’s last three matches through injury.
In his place, team-mate Morata has been given the nod having scored three goals and an assist in his last three La Liga matches.
Meanwhile, Mata has been one of La Liga’s in-form players, per Spanish football journalist Sid Lowe:
Eleven Sports @ElevenSports_UK
| #LaLiga |
Jaime Mata is on fire 🔥
He has been involved in more goals than any other Spanish player in Europe’s top 5 leagues… https://t.co/DYRQAZ5Kex
ESPN’s Dermot Corrigan was pleased to see Real Betis’ Sergio Canales and Sevilla’s Sergi Gomez:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
Canales inclusion in Spain squad richly deserved but also Sergi Gómez – been really good for Sevilla this season, even with team’s difficult moments
The pair, along with Mata, could make their debuts for La Roja in the upcoming games.
After watching his side lose 3-2 in back-to-back matches against England and Croatia in their final two UEFA Nations League games last year—defeats that saw them miss out on a place in this summer’s finals—it seems Enrique was eager to freshen things up with his latest selection.
Should the new players impress and get Spain’s European Championship qualifying off to a good start, those left out could find it difficult to get back into the side during the next international break.