Argentina's Struggles Have A Clear Solution In Mauro Icardi
Get the best email in soccer.
After three consecutive major final losses, Argentina decided to rebuild their squad. Edgardo Bauza became their third coach in just over two years, and everybody is hoping for a fresh start after their heart breaking loss to Chile in the Copa America Centenario.
Argentina’s main problem in those final losses is clear. They are in desperate need of a trusted finisher, a player who can step up in the big moments and convert the big chance. Gonzalo Higuain was supposed to be that player, but his misses in all three finals were costly. Meanwhile, another top striker, Sergio Aguero, struggles to keep himself fit and even when fit, he doesn’t perform quite as well for country as he does for club.
Mauro Icardi scored 22 league goals in the 2014-15 season, 16 goals in the 2015-16 season and currently has six goals in five matches in Serie A. So with Argentina in clear need of a finisher, a new face instead of the ones who consistently underperform, it’s shocking to see how he’s still not in the squad.
استمتعوا بأعظم (راس حربة) بالعالم إل كابيتانو إيكاردي @MauroIcardiهدفي إيكاردي بالأمس ضد إمبولي pic.twitter.com/o4oZLPBBct
— زيـــــــاد (@ziadjouharji) September 22, 2016
However, things might not look as simple as they seem. After what Icardi did to his former teammate and fellow Argentine Maxi Lopez, there were reports that he has been frozen out of the national team.
Bauza even had to come out and deny the reports that Argentinean players don’t want Icardi in the squad, instead insisting that he just prefers the 24-year-old River Plate striker Lucas Alario.
Icardi was again snubbed from a national team call-up for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay, losing out to Higuain, Aguero, Alario, Paulo Dybala, Lucas Pratto, and Angel Correa.
It would be understandable if he was snubbed for more prolific players, but being snubbed for River Plate forward Alario, Atlético Mineiro striker Pratto and Atlético Madrid youngster Correa must be extremely painful for the 23-year-old Inter player.
Due to his Italian and Spanish ancestors, Icardi was also eligible to play for Italy and Spain. But, because he has already played a World Cup qualifier for Argentina, he has no choice but to stick with La Albiceleste.
Argentina recently drew 2-2 with Peru and currently sit in fifth place of the CONMEBOL qualifying table. They still haven’t improved much under Bauza, and the same problems still remain. One of them is still missing an explosive player up top who can finish and step up in the right moments.
Icardi is exactly the type of player they are currently lacking. If he is used right, he can take La Albiceleste to a whole new level.
It’s time to forget about the off field issues and focus solely on the sporting aspect. Bring back the Inter Milan captain to the national team.