Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero has been ruled out of this summer’s World Cup finals through injury.
The 31-year-old (via BBC Sport) requires surgery to correct a long standing knee problem, meaning the 94-cap keeper will now miss the showpiece event in Russia. Romero, who acts as understudy to David De Gea at Old Trafford, was expected to be Argentina’s first choice keeper once more, having started the World Cup final defeat to Germany back in 2014.
Romero’s injury will be seen as a huge blow to Jorge Sampaoli’s side, with his experience likely to have been valuable to a team looking to cast doubt on the under-performing label often attributed to their performances at major tournaments.
Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero is among the contenders to replace Romero between the sticks, though the former Malaga goalkeeper only has two international caps to his name thus far.
He will face competition from River Plate’s Franco Armani, and Tigres’ Nahuel Guzman for a starting berth, with the latter having been called up to replace Romero. The trio have only eight international caps between them though, which is likely to cause concern among La Albiceleste supporters.
Meanwhile, Sampaoli, who was appointed as manager just under a year ago, has revealed that his style of play was a major factor in his controversial decision to not pick Inter’s Mauro Icardi in his 23-man party.
“We came to this list after long and meticulous analysis,” Sampaoli said, as reported by Football Italia. “The players I called up identify with our style of play as closely as possible. For example: I chose Ansaldi because he’s a full-back who can play on both sides.”
Icardi scored 29 goals in Serie A this season, also reaching the 100-goal mark for the club in just 159 appearances for the Nerazzurri.