Atletico Madrid clear Angel Correa for Argentina squad
Emerging Atletico Madrid striker Angel Correa has been cleared by his club to join the Argentine senior squad for September friendlies.
Correa, 20, join Atletico from Argentine club San Lorenzo for an initial fee of around €6 million last summer, but then did not play any club football during the 2014-15 season after undergoing an operation on a serious heart condition.
The Rosario-born player finally made his Atletico debut in the second half of Saturday's 1-0 La Liga opening weekend victory over Las Palmas at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, and looks to be currently ahead of big money summer 2015 arrivals Luciano Vietto and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco in the thinking of Colchoneros coach Diego Simeone.
Such progression has been recognised by Argentina national coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino, who made the call after injury ruled Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Javier Pastore out of friendlies against Bolivia on Sept. 4 in Houston, and against Mexico four days later in Arlington, Texas.
The Argentine federation said on Monday via a statement that given the absences of [Angel] Di Maria, [Pablo] Zabaleta, [Javier] Pastore and [Lucas] Biglia, Martino has called up Matias Kranevitter, Emmanuel Mas, Angel Correa and Nicolas Gaitan.
The federation also said that Di Maria's absence was by mutual agreement with PSG because the winger is "in his reconditioning phase, working especially on muscular imbalances that the club recently detected."
The release said the absences of Manchester City's Zabaleta, PSG's Pastore and Lazio's Biglia were all due to various injuries.
Atletico, which also hailed the impression made by Correa as he captained his country's under-20 side to success in last February's Sudamericano tournament, released the news via statement.
"Angel Correa has been called up by Gerardo 'Tata' Martino for the Albiceleste's next two friendly games, his first senior international call," the statement said. "Correa does not stop making big news. Our player made his debut last Saturday in La Liga at the Vicente Calderon against Las Palmas. The Argentine left some great details during the minutes he was given by Simeone in the second half.
"His progress has not been missed by the Albiceleste coaches, who have decided to call him up for the two games in September. The Argentine was captain of the Under-20 national side which won the Sudamericano Championship in Uruguay, scoring the decisive goal in the final. Correa was named the tournament's best player, and ended up scoring four goals in eight games."
On Monday, the federation confirmed that Martino has also called up young River Plate midfielder and long-time Atletico target Matias Kranevitter for the games against Bolivia and Mexico. The €8m rated 22-year-old told ESPN Deportes that he is to travel to Madrid to complete a move to the Calderon club this week, with the deal seeing him remain with River for the 2015-16 campaign.
"On Monday I have my trip to Spain," Kranevitter said. "Then I must return and focus again."