Euro 2020

Jose Enrique admits Isco Uncertainty

Spain national team coach Jose Enrique has acknowledged that Isco may no longer be an automatic pick with La Roja after struggling for gametime at Real Madrid this term. The Spaniard has not started a league game for Los Blancos since October 28 and this has coincided with the appointment of Santiago Solari as the club’s head coach.

Speaking to Movistar, Enrique has admitted that Isco may not make the squad for the forthcoming internationals against Norway and Malta until he can get more minutes under the belt at the club level, he said: “Right now, I do not know if I will call him up, we will treat each case individually.

There are still two months left for the list, though I would prefer that he was playing more minutes, like those who do not play as much [for the national team], but football is like that.”

Isco started the season in bright fashion for club and country but he had to take a break between September and October to treat appendicitis. Since then, he has struggled to break into the starting lineup on a consistent basis and much of his gametime has come in the other competitions aside from the Spanish La Liga.

As such, his prospects of breaking into the national team setup remain slim, although that could change during the month leading up to the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Meanwhile, Spain are favourites to qualify for the 2020 European Championship but the manager will expect a more clinical performance from the players after a rather disappointing Nations League campaign to follow up the World Cup, where they were shocked by Russia at the round of 16 stage.

Spain were beaten by both Croatia and England during the recent Nations League and that was largely down to their backline which seemingly underperformed. La Roja conceded three goals in each of their two defeats during the group phase of the competition.