On August 24th, Premier League clubs ‘reluctantly but unanimously’ decided not to release players for September’s international break, where red-list countries would be involved.
Argentina’s Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero fall under this category and Nuno Espírito Santo admitted last week Tottenham Hotspur are “trying to anticipate the damage” of the duo’s decision to defy Premier League rules.
The Copa América winners have three fixtures scheduled against Venezuela, Brazil and Bolovia this month.
Spurs’ official website have published a piece explaining when their players will be in action during the ongoing international break.
As per the piece, Lo Celso and Romero are expected to feature against Venezuela and Brazil, but there’s no mention of Argentina’s clash against Bolivia on September 9th. In fact, they have no mention of any fixtures beyond next Wednesday.
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has stressed all players called up for selection will be in contention to play all three matches.
“We gave the list for the three games and there are no doubts about that. The players are here to play the three games,” he was quoted as saying by Olé.
If the Spurs duo are forced to quarantine on their return to England, they would risk missing the north London club’s next four matches.
With regards to the controversy around European leagues reluctant to release South American players, Scaloni said: “There was a lot of talk that they were not going to give in to the players… I want to emphasise the position of our footballers for themselves, it is a plus that we have it. I thank you for coming, it is a step forward for the national team.
“Since I have been part of the national team, both youth and senior, I have always seen the same predisposition. But when you win something, everything is magnified, Argentine players always want to be there. And that is a plus. Now something nice comes. It is an important challenge to qualify for the World Cup.
“With regard to the clubs in Europe we never had a refusal, we have debated. We talked and came to the conclusion that they had to come. We are happy that they are with us. And now to play, which is the most important thing.”