Argentina will be without Manuel Lanzini for the World Cup after the West Ham attacking midfielder suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a training session.
The 25-year-old had fought his way into the defeated 2014 finalists’ World Cup squad since making his debut as a substitute against Brazil in June 2017, Jorge Sampoli’s first game in charge.
Sampaoli has until 14:00 BST on June 15, 24 hours before Argentina’s opening game against Iceland in Moscow, to call up a replacement for the West Ham favourite.
Lanzini has earned four caps to date and scored his first senior international goal in a 2-0 friendly victory over Italy.
[PARTE MÉDICO] Manuel Lanzini sufrió, en el entrenamiento matutino de hoy, la rotura del ligamento cruzado anterior de su rodilla derecha. pic.twitter.com/lmYEVr5YaV
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) June 8, 2018
Sampaoli originally named a 35-man provisional squad for Russia and will likely select a replacement from the 12 players he dropped for his final group.
Guido Pizarro, Enzo Perez, Diego Perotti, Leandro Paredes and Rodrigo Battaglia will be hoping to earn a route back into the tournament but it presents the latest headache for the South American giants.
Argentina cancelled their final warm-up clash with Israel on Saturday, meaning the only preparation they have had since a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Spain in March was a routine 4-0 victory over Haiti.
Lanzini will now face a lengthy spell on the sidelines and will miss the first few months of Manuel Pellegrini’s reign at the London Stadium, leaving a huge void to fill in the Hammers’ midfield ranks.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 8, 2018
West Ham have been linked with a number of midfielders in the transfer market, including Manchester City veteran Yaya Toure, and Lanzini’s injury could intensify the pursuit for signings in this area.
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