Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The first list of Luis de la Fuente with Spain: certainties, doubts and discards

The new era of Spanish soccer team Starts this Friday in Las Rozas. Luis de la Fuente will make public at 11:30 a.m. his First call as coach for two qualifying matches for the 2024 Euro Cup: against Norway on March 25 at La Rosaleda (Málaga) and against Scotland on the 28th in Glasgow.

The list, of which he will offer explanations at a press conference starting at 12:30 p.m., will undoubtedly offer important news regarding the summons of Luis Enrique.

Officially, it is only known that they won’t even be Sergio Busquetswho announced his retirement after the World Cup, neither Sergio Ramos, to whom the coach himself informed that it was not part of his plans. It remains to be seen what decision De la Fuentes makes with other classic veterans of the national team in recent times, such as César Azpilicueta, Koke Resurrección, Álvaro Morata and Jordi Alba, and who will be the new captain.

Also if he recovers former summoned who stopped counting for Luis Enrique (De Gea, Kepa, Fabián, Aspas…) and To which young people do you decide to give the alternative?a generational bet that was already a house brand with the previous coach and that De la Fuente will strengthen.


It is given for the presence of Unai Simón is certainLuis Enrique’s favorite goalkeeper, although it remains to be seen if he will maintain the starting role he held until the last World Cup. Kepa Arrizabalaga, now a starter in the Chelseahas many tickets to return to the national team two and a half years after playing his last game, in October 2020.

The third square is much more open. De la Fuente could maintain his confidence in David Raya or Robert Sánchez, bet on Álex Remiro and even rescue David de Gea, forgotten by Luis Enrique, like Kepa, since October 2020.


Surely the line in which more doubts accumulate. Robin Le Normand, desired by De la Fuente, still does not have dual nationality, so he will not be able to enter the coach’s first call. The presence of Dani Carvajal, Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres and Alejandro Balde is taken for granted, so there would be a gap by demarcation. For the right side, Pedro Porro is the one who has the most tickets, since it seems that the stage of César Azpilicueta will be closed.

For the center of defense, the options are varied: Iñigo Martínez, Hugo Guillamón, Eric García, Diego Llorente, Yeray Álvarez, David García, Nacho Fernández… Sergio Ramos, you know, is not an option. There are also several candidates for the left flank of the defense, with the feeling that Jordi Alba will no longer appear. Marc Cucurella, José Luis Gayà and Fran García are the best positioned to complement Balde.


If there is something certain, it is the absence of Busquets due to his withdrawal. and it is given of course the continuity of Rodrigo Hernández, Pedri González and Pablo Gavi. The inclusions of Martín Zubimendi and Fabián Ruiz enter almost all the bets and, from there, there are between two and three gaps for which the candidates multiply.

Dani Ceballos, the coach’s weakness, has many tickets, like Mikel Merino. Koke and Marcos Llorente are two other applicants, especially the athletic captain. Gabriel Veiga could well see his great emergence at Celta recognized with his first international citation. Carlos Soler, on the other hand, does not seem to have too many tickets. Oihan Sancet could be the big surprise.


Here the main question will be what De la Fuente’s big bet will be for the center forward position. The absence of alvaro morata it would be a big surprisebut there is at least one (if not more) more square with several applicants: Borja Iglesias, Joselu Mato, Iago Aspas, Chimy Ávila… and even Abel Ruiz.

The Celta captain and the Hispanic Argentine can also find a place on the sides, where Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal (already recovered from his very serious knee injury) seem to have a guaranteed place. Nico Williams and Ferran Torres also have plenty of tickets, without forgetting Marco Asensio, Yéremi Pino, Ansu Fati and Brahim Díaz. Pablo Sarabia has fewer options, one of Luis Enrique’s weaknesses.


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