Tottenham Hotspur

Argentina refuse to release Cristian Romero & Giovani Lo Celso early

Tom Gott
Cristian Romero will not be granted early leave
Cristian Romero will not be granted early leave / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has revealed he has declined an appeal from Tottenham to release Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso from international duty early.

The pair, alongside Aston Villa duo Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia, are set to feature for their country in a World Cup qualifier against Peru in the early hours of October 15, fewer than 48 hours before Spurs travel to Newcastle in the Premier League.

Spurs had asked for the pair to be released early in time for the Newcastle game, having struck a deal for that to happen in the previous international break, but Scaloni has since confirmed that it will not be happening again.

“We are not going to do the same as last time with the Premier League players, under no circumstances,” Scaloni said (via The Times).

“[Last month] I said that they came to play all three games but the players raised a difficult decision for me and I understood it, so I released them. Now the players are here to play the three games. Under no point of view they will leave earlier.”

Romero and Lo Celso are now almost certain to miss the game, and there are also fears that they could be without Brazilian right-back Emerson Royal and Colombian centre-back Davinson Sanchez for similar reasons.

The four players are all fully vaccinated and free to train and play matches immediately upon their return to England, but even if they make it back to Spurs in time, the quartet are all likely to be in desperate need of a rest.

West Ham's Michail Antonio has declined to join up with the Jamaican national team to avoid that problem, but the same cannot be said for the plethora of Premier League stars turning out for Brazil.

Liverpool unsuccessfully attempted to get their match with Watford pushed back to allow Alisson and Fabinho time to recover, meaning they could be one of seven Premier League sides forced to play their next game without their Brazilian stars.

Alongside Liverpool and Spurs, there could be absences for Manchester City (Ederson and Gabriel Jesus), Chelsea (Thiago Silva), Villa (Douglas Luiz), Manchester United (Fred) and Leeds United (Raphinha).