Sampaoli adds five Argentina-based players to his March friendlies squad, including Lautaro Martínez

As expected, on Monday morning the Argentine Football Association published Jorge Sampaoli’s final squad list for Argentina’s upcoming friendlies against Italy in Manchester on the 23rd, and against Spain in Madrid on the 27th of this month. Having already called up twenty-two players who play their club football abroad, Sampaoli added five ‘locals’ to the squad today: 21-year-old Independiente full back Fabricio Bustos has been called up two or three times already, but has always been frustrated by injuries shortly before the international breaks in question; his clubmate Maximiliano Meza, who gets his first call-up at the age of 24, is an attacking midfield who can also play a little deeper, and who could add an interesting option off the bench. Superliga leaders Boca Juniors have also had two players called up: 32-year-old box-to-box midfielder Pablo Pérez and 22-year-old winger Cristian Pavón, the latter of whom gained some credit in his first couple of Argentina appearances in friendlies last last year. And the headline inclusion is that of 20-year-old Racing hotshot Lautaro Martínez, who scored again for his club on Saturday in a 1-1 draw away to Chacarita Juniors. That leaves the full squad list looking like this:

Argentina’s full squad list for the March 2018 friendlies (picture from


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