Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli has admitted that Carlos Tevez is under focus due to his recent performances, though 80 percent of the World Cup squad is already finalized. Speaking to reporters, Sampaoli spoke about the inclusion of Gonzalo Higuain, who makes a return to the national side for the first time since June 2017, he said: “As far as Higuain goes, I’ve seen him mature and he’s convinced me. We need footballers who, if we call them, will guarantee us a good World Cup.”
Meanwhile, Sampaoli allayed fears over the exclusion of Juventus Paulo Dybala by citing that the attacker has been left out to build up form with the Old Lady following an injury absence, he added: “Dybala, [Atalanta playmaker Alejandro] Gomez and Icardi are players we know very well. We want to see others to make comparisons. These two matches won’t be decisive for anyone.”
Whilst ending his speech, the manager was posed a question about the future of Tevez, and he admitted that there is a possibility that the veteran could make the final cut, he concluded: “Due to his characteristics – which I know very well – and according to his current form and his history, he can be evaluated, although we are very close to the World Cup process.”
Tevez’ international career appeared all but over after he made the switch to the Chinese Super League with Shanghai Shenhua. The 34-year-old lacked the form and intensity to warrant a national comeback, but his return to Boca Juniors has done wonders to his confidence. The ex-Juventus man has contributed three goals in the last five games, and he now seems to have an outside chance of representing his nation for one final World Cup. Alongside Tevez, Fernando Gago is also in the reckoning for a midfield role, provided he can prove his fitness before the travelling squad is announced.