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Argentina head coach Scaloni impressed by Buendia's step forward this season

20 May 2021

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni says the step forward Emi Buendía has taken this season is the reason behind the Norwich City playmaker’s call-up to the national side.

Buendia has been called up for two FIFA World Cup qualifying fixtures in early June, the first being a home match against Chile on Friday, June 4, and the second being an away fixture against Colombia on June 9.

However, with the Copa America due to start, on June 13, and squads for that tournament still to be announced, should Buendia impress in training and the matches he stands a good chance of featuring in the tournament.

Speaking about Buendía’s inclusion in the squad for the World Cup qualifier, Scaloni admitted they had been tracking Buendia for a while.

“We looked at Emiliano already last year as, although his team did not have a great season, he was highlighted not only in his team but also in the Premier (League) for his assists and this year he was a revelation in the whole league, he was a player that really made a difference.

“In the previous announcement/call ups we did not carry it out, but we called him up (this time) because of what we are seeing and that he can contribute different things.

“We noticed this year he took a step forward. In his team he was the best and that is what we really needed to know, if he was capable of competing at these levels.

“We have no doubt that he can be an important player, that he can contribute things, that he can play in different positions. We will evaluate him at another day of training, we will get to know him closely, we will see him train and we will make a decision.”

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