16 players who could win their first caps this week: Winks, Suso, Ederson…

Quick Reads

As it’s the international break, we thought we’d take a look at some of the uncapped players who could earn their first caps over the next week, featuring Tottenham, Leicester and Manchester City players.

England

Harry Winks (Tottenham)

The 21-year-old was added to the England squad after Phil Jones and Fabian Delph had to withdraw due to injury. It is the first time the Tottenham midfielder has been called up to the senior side. He made his first Premier League start of the season at the weekend during Spurs’ convincing 4-0 victory over Huddersfield Town and has made a total of seven appearances in all competitions this term.

Harry Maguire (Leicester City)

Maguire, who rather brilliantly turned up at his first England get-together carrying his possessions in a black bin bag, was called up by Gareth Southgate for the second time after watching from the bench as the Three Lions beat Malta and Slovakia in September. The former Sheffield United and Hull City centre-back has another opportunity to impress as he searches for that first cap. Maguire has scored once and made two assists for his team-mates in the Premier League this season.

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READ: The making of Harry Maguire: From Sheffield United to the England fringes

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Spain

Kepa (Athletic Bilbao)

The Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper has been capped 22 times at Under-21 level for Spain but is still waiting for that elusive senior appearance. Following a loan spell at Real Valladolid in 2015-16, Kepa finally nailed down a starting berth at Bilbao on his return. The 22-year-old was first called into the Spain squad back in March following Pepe Reina’s withdrawal.

Kepa has made six appearances in La Liga so far this season, keeping two clean sheets with one man of the match display.

Suso (AC Milan)

Having played at every youth level for Spain from the Under-17s upwards, Suso is targeting his first cap for the senior side. Spain boss Julen Lopetegui has named him in the squad for their World Cup qualifier against Italy and the former Liverpool youngster will be hopeful of a first run out against Albania or Israel.

Suso has two goals and two assists in just five Serie A starts this term and the winger’s impressive displays have caught the eye.

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Italy

Nicolo Barella (Cagliari)

The Cagliari attacking midfielder is only 20 years old and is already making waves in Serie A. He’s had a decent start to the season with a man of the match performance against Crotone, while he scored in a 2-0 victory over SPAL.

That form has seen him drafted into the Italy squad for the first time as a replacement for PSG’s Marco Verratti, who had to withdraw through injury.

Bryan Cristante (Benfica – on loan at Atalanta)

The 22-year-old has represented Italy at every age group and now has the chance to make a senior appearance. Cristante, who turned down the chance to play for Canada, was brought into the Italy squad by Giampiero Ventura after a number of injuries in central midfield.

“I am very happy with my first call-up for the senior Italy squad,” Cristante told Mediaset Premium.

“I had gone rather off the radar, so I’m extremely pleased now. I rushed here and I’ll relish every minute. I come to the Nazionale with great hunger and fresh legs, now it’s up to me to do well.”

Roberto Inglese (Napoli – on loan at Chievo Verona)

Inglese has been called up for the very first time for Italy’s World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Albania. Napoli bought the striker from Chievo in the summer transfer window, only to loan him back out immediately. The 25-year-old, who has had previous loan spells at Lumezzane and Carpi, could provide Italy with a spark having scored two goals and set two up for his team-mates so far this campaign.

France

Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)

He began the 2016-17 season as understudy to Kevin Trapp following a successful stint at La Liga side Villarreal, where he made 37 apperances in 2015-16. Following his display in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal in the Champions League last season, Areola established himself as PSG’s first-choice goalkeeper.

Despite losing his place again to Trapp at the turn of the year, Areola has wrestled his starting berth back – making 16 appearances in all competitions already this season. This is not the first time the keeper has been named in a France squad but he is having difficulty dislodging Hugo Lloris or Steve Mandanda, perhaps understandably.

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Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain)

It could be a big week for PSG players if Kimpembe and Areola gain international recognition for France. The centre-back represented DR Congo for one Under-20 match before playing with the France Under-20s and Under-21s. His first senior call-up came a year ago today in 2016 when Eliaquim Mangala had to drop out of the squad for the qualifiers against Bulgaria and the Netherlands, but he is still yet to play.

His form over the past campaign has led to transfer speculation linking him with a move to Premier League side Liverpool.

Portugal

Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP)

The midfielder represented his country at the 2016 Olympic Games but with that classed as an Under-23 tournament Fernandes is still looking for his first senior cap. A withdrawal from Benfica midfielder Pizzi has given Fernandes a chance to earn a place in the side for Portugal’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Hungary. The 24-year-old has made an incredible start to the new season with Sporting, having scored six goals in 10 matches from midfield.

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Brazil

Cassio (Corinthians)

It is difficult for goalkeepers to win their first cap, especially if you are third in the pecking order. That seems to be the case for Cassio, who has made 250 appearances for Corinthians, after being called up by previous coach Dunga in 2015 and then more recently by Tite earlier in 2017.

The 30-year-old is yet to win a cap and is likely to be behind Alisson and Ederson in the current squad that will play Bolivia and Chile in important World Cup qualifiers.

Ederson (Manchester City)

Ederson became the second most expensive goalkeeper of all-time behind Gianluigi Buffon when he joined Manchester City for €40million in the summer transfer window. He has gone from strength to strength and seems to have settled in well to early life at the Etihad Stadium after making nine appearances in all competitions.

The 24-year-old has kept seven clean sheets in those matches as Man City have made a fantastic start to the season. That form has seen Tite call him up to the Brazil squad for a second time this season and Ederson will be keen to win his first cap in October.

Arthur (Gremio)

Tite has put his faith in Arthur to shore up his Brazil midfield, calling him up to the squad for the first time. The Gremio defensive midfielder has earned rave reviews in the Brazilian league this campaign. He started off at his hometown club of Goias at the age of twelve before he was spotted in 2010 by a Gremio scout at a youth tournament.

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Argentina

Pablo Perez (Boca Juniors)

It would be a long time coming, but Pablo Perez has a chance of winning his first cap for Argentina when they take on Peru and Ecuador in their two World Cup qualifiers in October. The 32-year-old midfielder started out with Newell’s Old Boys in 2006 before making the move to Europe with Malaga in 2014.

He lasted just six months in Spain before returning home to Boca Juniors, where he has hit the ground running this season with three goals and an assist in his first five matches.

Emiliano Rigoni (Zenit St. Petersburg)

The 24-year-old became Zenit’s fifth Argentinian purchase of the season when he signed for the Russian club from Independiente in August, and he has made an instant impact with two goals in two Europa League appearances, while he has also played three times in the league.

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German Pezzella (Real Betis – on loan at Fiorentina)

Pezzella burst onto the youth scene with Argentina when he starred at the 2009 Toulon tournament before further honours at Under-20 and Under-23 level followed. However, six years after his final Under-23 appearance and Pezzella has failed to earn a cap for the senior side.

The centre-back’s latest call-up comes following a solid start to the 2017-18 season with Fiorentina. And Pezzella definitely has a chance in the current squad with Javier Mascherano, Nicolas Otamendi and Gabriel Mercado the only defenders with over 10 caps.


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