Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea remains out of the Spain squad while Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga returns as Luis de la Fuente decided on a huge overhaul in his first selection as new national team boss.
De la Fuente previously coach the county’s under-21s side and replaced Luis Enrique shortly after Spain were eliminated by Morocco in the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup.
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Only 11 members of the squad at the tournament in Qatar are in his 26-man selection for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Norway and Scotland, with three uncapped players included — Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi, Osasuna’s David Garcia and Espanyol’s Joselu Mato.
Neither De Gea nor Kepa were part of the Spain squad at the World Cup.
De Gea, who has performed well this season and recently became United’s all-time clean sheet record holder, has not featured for Spain since October 2020. Meanwhile, Kepa’s revival at Chelsea have earned him a recall — the first time he is back in the squad since November 2020.
Brighton’s Robert Sanchez and Brentford’s David Raya remain in the group.
“Our goalkeeper Unai Simon is out injured. We wish him a speedy recovery,” De la Fuetne said in a news conference on Friday. “Kepa is the most experienced of the three [Raya and Sanchez] but they will have to earn their place.
“We will look at how they do on a daily basis before deciding who starts. All three are very good and I’m sure whoever plays will do well.”
“When selecting this squad, I have not looked at the past but rather at the present and the future.”
Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas returns to the national team for the first time since June 2019. The 35-year-old has scored 11 goals in 25 league appearances for Celta.
There were calls in Spain for Aspas’ teammate, highly-rated midfielder Gabri Veiga, to receive his first call-up but the 20-year-old was left out.
Another player back after a long absence is Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez, with his last appearance for Spain in 2018.
Tottenham winger Bryan Gil, who has only featured 269 minutes in LaLiga since joining Sevilla on a six-month loan in January, was a surprise inclusion on the roster.
He is joined by Spurs teammate Pedro Porro.
Spain host Norway on March 25 and take on Scotland in Glasgow on March 28.
“Norway are not just [Erling] Haaland, they have a great team. They have very good players,” De la Fuente said. “We will try to limit them. We all know Haaland, who is the fashionable striker and now the most important in world football, but I’m focusing on my players, who are also great.”
Spain 26-player selection:
Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea), Robert Sanchez (Brighton) and David Raya (Brentford).
Defenders: Jose Luis Gaya (Valencia), Alejandro Balde (FC Barcelona), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Inigo Martinez (Athletic Club), Nacho Fernandez and Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), David García (Osasuna) and Pedro Porro (Tottenham).
Midfielders: Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City), Martin Zubimendi and Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Pedri and Gavi (FC Barcelona), Fabian Ruiz (PSG) and Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid).
Forwards: Alvaro Morata (Atletico de Madrid), Dani Olmo (Leipzig), Nico Williams (Athletic Club), Bryan Gil (Sevilla), Mikel Oyazarbal (Real Sociedad), Iago Aspas (Celta), Joselu (RCD Espanyol) and Gerard Moreno (Villarreal).