Argentina call up Erik Lamela after Lionel Messi, Ever Banega withdraw
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Erik Lamela has been called up by Argentina for their opening 2018 World Cup qualifiers after captain Lionel Messi and Ever Banega withdrew with injuries, the Argentine FA said on Tuesday.
Lamela, who shone in Spurs’ 4-1 Premier League win over Manchester City last weekend, has been drafted into the squad named by coach Gerardo Martino last week for South American qualifiers at home to Ecuador on Oct. 8 and away to Paraguay five days later.
Messi has been ruled out for up to two months with left knee ligament damage after being injured playing for Barcelona against Las Palmas on Saturday while Sevilla midfielder Banega is nursing a right knee injury.
Lamela, who was part of the squad that reached the Copa America final in Chile in July, last played for Argentina in their 7-0 rout of Bolivia in a friendly on Sept. 5 on tour in the United States.