Jorge Sampaoli has left Gonzalo Higuain out of his Argentina squad once again but told the Juventus striker he has “nothing to prove”.
Higuain has not featured for Argentina since the 1-0 friendly win over Brazil last June – Sampaoli’s first game at the helm after taking over from Edgardo Bauza.
Higuain 23/10 first scorer v Udinese
The 29-year-old has endured a difficult start to the season with Juventus, scoring just four goals in 12 appearances, and was overlooked for the crunch World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Ecuador.
Lionel Messi ensured Argentina will not be absent from the competition in Russia with a hat-trick in Quito and Sampaoli does not think Higuain can do anything more to try and earn a place in the squad.
“Higuain is a player who is very present. I have him in my mind and I know what he represents. With him there is nothing to prove,” said the former Sevilla boss.
“It will be up to us to make an evaluation and decide whether he will go to the World Cup or not.”
Sergio Aguero is recalled after a rib injury following a car accident ruled him out of Sampaoli’s previous group, while Matias Kranevitter and Diego Perotti have been selected.
Argentina will take on Russia in Moscow on November 10 with another friendly expected to be confirmed shortly.
The Argentina boss will supplement Friday’s selection of players with a contingent of domestic-based players.
Sampaoli confirmed that players from River Plate and Boca Juniors, who will dispute the Superclasico on November 5, will be allowed to join up with the squad following the famous derby clash, although he revealed no names from the Primera Division.
[SELECCIÓN MAYOR] Sampaoli dio la lista de futbolistas citados, que militan en clubes del exterior, para los próximos partidos amistosos pic.twitter.com/33tMxsKn2K
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) October 20, 2017
Argentina squad: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres UANL), Agustin Marchesin (Club America); Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Federico Fazio (Roma), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), German Pezzella (Fiorentina); Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Leandro Paredes (Zenit), Emiliano Rigoni (Zenit), Matias Kranevitter (Zenit), Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta), Diego Perotti (Roma); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Mauro Icardi (Inter), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus).