Chelsea's Diego Costa out of the Spanish national team, Juanmi called up as replacement

Diego Costa
Diego Costa to team doctor Eva Carneiro as he is substituted during Chelsea’s Premier League match against Hull City

Madrid, March 24 (IANS) Spain national football team coach Vicente del Bosque has called Malaga striker Juan Miguel Jimenez Lopez, better known as 'Juanmi', into his squad for the forthcoming matches against Ukraine and the Netherlands.

Juanmi got the call on Monday after Chelsea striker Diego Costa suffered an Achilles tendon injury during his side's game against Hull City on Sunday afternoon.

Following that game, Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho said Costa had a long-standing problem with his tendon and would probably be unavailable for Friday's Euro 2016 qualifying game in Seville and next week's friendly against the Dutch.

The 21-year-old Juanmi has scored seven goals in 24 appearances for Malaga this season and is one of the club's rising stars after making his first team debut aged just 16 years old.

"It's not just for me, this call up is recognition for the excellent season my club is having," he said in the Spanish press after being informed of Del Bosque's decision.

Most had expected Del Bosque to call Valencia forward Paco Alcacer into his squad, especially as Alcacer has scored twice in his last two matches. He seems to have recaptured the form which earned him a call up at the start of the campaign.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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