Spain coach Vicente del Bosque had no qualms about including David de Gea in his latest squad despite being sidelined by Manchester United – but hopes the goalkeeper’s lack of action is only temporary.
De Gea has yet to play for United this season as speculation continues about a possible move to Real Madrid, with manager Louis van Gaal preferring Sergio Romero in goal for the Red Devils’ opening five matches. That situation has not put off Del Bosque, though, with the 64-year-old naming the De Gea in his 23-man squad for next month’s vital Euro 2016 qualifying double-header against Group C leaders Slovakia and Macedonia.
Del Bosque is, however, hoping the 24-year-old will be back playing regularly again soon.
He told a press conference:
“It’s true that he hasn’t had the competitive matches that are normally required, but we’re at the start of the season where almost all the games have been friendlies. He is active, training and ready to play.
“At this moment it doesn’t mean he won’t play. I hope the situation is resolved from Sept. 1.
“If the situation drags on then we could take another decision, but at the end of August it’s not significant.”
Asked if De Gea’s lack of games means Iker Casillas — now with Porto after leaving Real Madrid — will be assured of starting the qualifiers, Del Bosque said: “We’ve found no reason not to bring in De Gea, regardless of his situation, which I hope is temporary.
“We trust in him and he’s the goalkeeper, next to Casillas, who we believe will defend Spain’s goal for many years.”
Also included in Del Bosque’s squad are Chelsea duo Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta plus Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata, who have been recalled after missing out last time.
Costa was omitted from Del Bosque’s previous squad due to concerns about his fitness, with the Brazil-born striker having struggled with hamstring problems last term.
Del Bosque preferred not to risk the 26-year-old on that occasion, but is pleased to have him back this time.
He said: “In the previous list I said he didn’t come because of sporting reasons. He’d just come back from an injury and we didn’t think he was in top condition. Now he’s playing well. It seems he’s overcome his physical problems and therefore we’ve brought him in. We have a lot of confidence in him.”
Regarding Mata, the Spain coach added: “There are a lot of players who could come in. Mata had stopped being a regular call-up and now he’s being a very useful player at Manchester, so he’s returned (to squad). Jesus Navas also comes to mind, if we haven’t brought players in now it’s because of the enormous competition for places that we have.”
Dropping out from Del Bosque’s latest list is Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, who had been injured, plus Celta Vigo forward Nolito, new Barcelona signing Aleix Vidal and Athletic Bilbao defender Mikel San Jose.
Reigning champions Spain are second in their Euro 2016 qualifying group with 15 points, three behind leaders Slovakia and three ahead of third-placed Ukraine with six games played.
The 2010 World Cup winners host Slovakia in Oviedo on September 5 and then travel to Skopje three days later to take on Macedonia.
Del Bosque said: “They are two very important games because we don’t know how many points we’re going to need. There are four games remaining and it would be very important to pick up six points in these two games.”
Spain squad : Casillas (Porto), De Gea (Manchester United), Rico (Sevilla); Alba (Barcelona), Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Bartra (Barcelona), Bernat (Bayern), Carvajal (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Pique (Barcelona), Ramos (Real Madrid); Busquets (Barcelona), Cazorla (Arsenal), Fabregas (Chelsea), Iniesta (Barcelona), Isco (Real Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Mata (Manchester United), Silva (Manchester City), Vitolo (Sevilla) ; Costa (Chelsea), Pedro (Chelsea), Alcacer (Valencia).
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family