Enzo Perez covers for Argentina’s injured Lanzini

River Plate midfielder Enzo Perez will replace the injured Manuel Lanzini in Argentina’s 23-man World Cup squad, the country’s football association said on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Perez was called up by Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli after Lanzini ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during training on Friday.

West Ham midfielder Lanzini, 25, had been linked with a summer transfer to Liverpool, but he now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

His injury is a blow for Sampaoli who had counted on Lanzini for a place in his starting line-up, with Lucas Biglia and Ever Banega also carrying minor knocks.

Former Valencia and Benfica midfielder Perez was part of the Argentina squad at the 2014 World Cup, starting in the final as his side lost to Germany 1-0 after extra time.

Argentina’s national team are due to travel to Russia from Barcelona later on Saturday ahead of the start of the World Cup on June 14.

The two-time world champions have been drawn in Group D alongside Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.


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