MADRID: Atlético Madrid midfielder Koke and Chelsea striker Álvaro Morata have been recalled to the Spain squad for this month’s internationals against Wales and England, though Diego Costa has been left out by coach Luis Enrique.
Costa, who withdrew from the squad last month for personal reasons, came off injured during Atlético’s 3-1 win over Club Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday, though Atlético have yet to announce details of the injury.
Spain coach Enrique declined to say whether or not the striker had been in his plans before he was injured against Brugge.
“I don’t know why people are so interested in knowing this. He got injured and that is it,” Enrique told a news conference.
Spain play Wales in a Cardiff friendly next Thursday before hosting England in a UEFA Nations League tie at Real Betis’ Estadio Benito Villamarín the following Sunday.
Enrique’s team is top of the Nations League A Group 4 standings on six points after beating England 2-1 and hammering Croatia 6-0 last month.
“The friendly with Wales will allow us to try things out. The vital game is against England. There will be little room for experiments because we have to win,” Enrique said.
The coach has also handed a first call-up to Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Jonny Castro and recalled Real Betis defender Marc Bartra and Borussia Dortmund forward Paco Alcácer, having worked with the latter pair while at Barcelona.
Barça defender Jordi Alba, however, continues to be overlooked despite showing strong form for his club.
Real Madrid pair Isco and Dani Carvajal, along with Barça’s Sergi Roberto and Athletic Bilbao’s Iñigo Martínez, were part of the last squad but all miss out through injury.