NEWS
Sunday September 18 2016
Bauza advice for Icardi and Banega

Edgardo Bauza assures he will call Mauro Icardi for Argentina, but feels Inter are using Ever Banega in the wrong role.

Inter-Juventus kicks off at 17.00 UK time (16.00 GMT), click here for a match preview.

There are several Argentine stars in the Derby d’Italia and you can read Bauza’s analysis of the Juventus duo here.

“Banega is a player who is already confirmed at the highest level, has great experience and nothing to prove,” the Seleccion Coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He has technique of the absolute top level, but at Inter plays in a different position to when he’s with us. With Argentina he moves further up the field, whereas at Inter I saw him close to the line of four defenders. I understand what the Coach is going for, because Ever has this great ability to move the team.

“Everyone has their own ideas and they are all to be respected, but personally I believe Banega works better in the opposition half in a trequartista role. Considering his quality, technique and vision, I prefer him 30 metres further up than his current role. If we want to simplify it with the old shirt numbers, he’s more of a 10 than a 5.”

Icardi has a remarkable scoring tally at Inter, yet played just seven minutes for the senior Argentina squad back in 2013. What more does he need to do?

“Icardi is one of the group of 60 players we are watching,” replied Bauza. “My great fortune, and the misfortune for Mauro, is that I have four or five men in that position of an excellent level.

“Icardi is an explosive player, he finds the net easily and despite being only 23 is already the captain of Inter, which shows his strength of character. In any moment he could be called by the Seleccion.”

Maurito is not in the squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay, though.

“No, because Higuain and Sergio Aguero were returning and I preferred to maintain Alario and Pratto. Why hasn’t Higuain been called since 2013? You’d have to ask my predecessor (Tata Martino). All I can say is that when we drew up the list of players suitable for selection, Icardi’s name was on there with no problem.”

Have Icardi’s off the field issues and somewhat colourful private life created some sort of prejudice around him? There were even rumours that other Argentina players vetoed his inclusion.

“Each of us has his problems,” continued Coach Bauza. “I am only interested in the sporting aspect, in other words how Icardi plays for Inter. He will only be judged on that and nothing else.

“There are no vetoes or negative opinions. All that counts is the football. The day he is called, he will have to adapt to our training regime, but that’s it.”

Leo Messi had sensationally retired from international duty after losing the Copa America Final to Chile this summer, but within weeks had been talked out of it.

“There’s nothing complicated with Messi, quite the contrary. Leo makes everything much simpler, both on and off the field. When I was assigned this job, I went to talk to him and I can assure you that it’s a pleasure to talk football with Leo. He is so knowledgeable.

“Now he is concentrated on the next objective: qualifying for the World Cup. People here love him so much and can’t wait to see him play for the Seleccion.

“Messi is surrounded by enormous affection. Any other considerations are just silly.”