August 10, 2022

Laporte set for shock Spain Euro 2020 call-up

May 11, 2021
Aymeric Laporte of Man City

Aymeric Laporte will be called up to Spain’s squad for this summer’s European Championships following a personal request from boss Luis Enrique, according to reports in Spain.

The Manchester City defender made a total of 51 appearances for France’s youth sides after representing them at U17, U18, U19 and U21 level, but has yet to make his debut for the senior side despite being called up to the squad on four occasions.

The 26-year-old was born in the French Basque Country but now Spanish outlet MARCA claim he will instead turn out for La Roja during this summer’s tournament given his dual nationality.

The outlet claims Enrique requested weeks ago that the Spanish FA explore the possibility of Laporte being able to represent Spain in the tournament which the country won in 2008 and 2012.

The same report insists both the player and FIFA have given their approval for the centre-back to play for Spain this summer, though a final procedure with the latter is still awaiting completion.

ALSO READ: BREAKING: Mahrez, Laporte test positive for coronavirus

Spain are said to have had Laporte on their radar ever since August 2016 when Julen Lopetegui had taken charge.

Enrique is set to name a 26-man squad – following last month’s announced increased from 23 – for the Euros on 21 May.

And should Laporte be called up, it would see Spain’s central defensive options – which already include Man City team-mate Eric Garcia, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Athletic Bilbao’s Inigo Martinez – significantly strengthened.

Laporte has played 27 games in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s team so far this season, and scored the winner in the League Cup final against Tottenham at Wembley.

However, while he has regained his spot in the Premier League side, Guardiola has preferred Ruben Dias and John Stones as the central pairing in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

ALSO READ: BREAKING: Mahrez, Laporte test positive for coronavirus

Spain’s gain however may well be France’s loss, although the world champions last called Laporte up to the squad in August 2019, from which he withdrew two days later after suffering a lateral meniscus injury that ruled him out of much of last season.

But Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps hinted as recently as November that the City star could continually be snubbed.

Asked why he had decided to call up Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma instead of Laporte for the international fixtures at the time, Deschamps said: ‘There’s competition everywhere.

“Kurt has been with us for a while, he’s been called up many times but hasn’t played that much. If I pick him it’s because I think he’s better than the other people because of what he’s doing at Chelsea.

“He had a few injuries in a row but now he’s been very fit for a while, he’s very calm, so he’s here.”

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