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Luis Enrique names Barcelona's Ansu Fati in latest Spain squad

Luis Enrique names Barcelona's Ansu Fati in latest Spain squad
© Reuters
Spain boss Luis Enrique names Barcelona attacker Ansu Fati in his squad for La Roja's upcoming UEFA Nations League matches.

Spain boss Luis Enrique has named Barcelona attacker Ansu Fati in his squad for the national team's UEFA Nations League matches at the start of June.

A busy run of fixtures will see La Roja take on Portugal on June 2, Czech Republic on June 5, Switzerland on June 9 before facing Czech Republic once again on June 12.

Fati has not played for Spain since October 2020 due to injury, and he was eased back into action by Barcelona in the latter stages of the 2021-22 campaign due to his fitness problems.

The 19-year-old featured in his team's last five La Liga matches of the season, with all five of those appearances coming off the bench, so his call into the latest Spain squad is controversial.

However, Enrique has insisted that the teenager will 'not play a lot of minutes', with La Roja set to follow Barcelona's lead in easing him back into action.

Ansu Fati in action for Barcelona in November 2021© Reuters

"I have a special plan, we're not going to take any risks, we're going to see him train, he's not going to play a lot of minutes," Enrique told reporters.

"It's more of a return to competition and to the parameters of the national team. It's more of a reward than wanting to load him with minutes."

Marco Asensio has also been named in the squad despite finding it difficult to show his best form for Real Madrid this season, and Enrique is confident that the attacker can perform for the national side.

"I've seen what I've always seen. It's true that in his team he's not performing too much but it's more important what they do here with us," said Enrique.

"He could be the first to be surprised. Let's not deceive ourselves, there are losses in his position, but that doesn't mean he won't come back. Opportunities are there to be taken."

Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio pictured on September 22, 2021© Reuters

Liverpool midfielder Thiago has also been included in the selection despite the fact that he is a doubt for this weekend's Champions League final due to the Achilles problem that he picked up against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday.

"We have spoken with the player and it is not serious," said Enrique. "He is having a great season. We are going to wait. If he does not reach the final he will have to join us so that our doctors can see him."

Alvaro Morata is comfortably the leading goalscorer in the squad with 25 goals, while fellow strikers Raul de Tomas and Pablo Sarabia have also kept their positions in the set-up for the Nations League fixtures.

There is still no place for David de Gea despite his impressive season at Manchester United, though, while Jose Gaya and Adama Traore are also notable absentees for Spain.

Spain squad

Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford)

Defenders: Inigo Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Gavi (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico), Marcos Llorente (Atletico), Rodri (Manchester City), Thiago (Liverpool), Carlos Soler (Valencia)

Forwards: Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Raul de Tomas (Espanyol), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Pablo Sarabia (Sporting Lisbon), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Ferran Torres (Barcelona)

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