Juventus star Gonzalo Higuain has been left out of Argentina’s squad yet again by Jorge Sampaoli, but Roma winger Diego Perotti has been recalled from the international wilderness.
Argentina face friendly matches against Russia and Nigeria this month as they begin preparations for next year’s World Cup, which they only progressed to thanks to a Lionel Messi inspired victory over Ecuador in their final qualifier.
Higuain has been left out again despite strong form at club level, scoring four goals in his last three matches for Juventus.
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The 29-year-old played 45 minutes in Sampaoli’s first match in charge against Brazil in September, but he has not been named in a squad since.
Perotti has fought his way back into contention, though, with the Roma forward receiving his first call up since June 2011.
[SELECCIN MAYOR] Jorge Sampaoli complet la lista de convocados para los partidos ante Rusia y Nigeria con los jugadores del ftbol local. pic.twitter.com/ldaPxTdcOS
— Seleccin Argentina (@Argentina) November 2, 2017
He made his international debut under Diego Maradona in November 2009 after breaking through as a talented youngster at Sevilla, but injuries and inconsistency wreaked havoc on him in the three years that followed his last inclusion.
Boca Juniors winger Cristian Pavon has been selected for the first time, with the 21-year-old enjoying a fine start to the Argentinian Primera Division season.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres), Agustin Marchesin (Club America)
Defenders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Roma), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Emiliano Insua (Stuttgart)
Midfielders: Ever Banega (Sevilla), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Matias Kranevitter, Leandro Paredes, Emiliano Rigoni (all Zenit St Petersburg), Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta), Perotti (Roma)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Mauro Icardi (Inter), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Dario Benedetto, Cristian Pavon (both Boca Juniors).