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5 Players Spain Should Call Up for Euro 2016 Qualification

Rik SharmaFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2014

5 Players Spain Should Call Up for Euro 2016 Qualification

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    Spain had a terrible World Cup.
    Spain had a terrible World Cup.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    After the world champions were booted out of the tournament unceremoniously at the group stage, it's clear things need to change for Spain.

    They could do with some fresh blood and a new influx of talent, ideas and options.

    Here are five players they should call up as they go about Euro 2016 qualification.

The Classy Thiago Alcantara

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    Thiago pulls the strings for Bayern.
    Thiago pulls the strings for Bayern.Gero Breloer/Associated Press

    The Bayern Munich star was selected in the provisional World Cup squad but had to withdraw because of a knee ligament injury in March.

    He had an excellent first season under Pep Guardiola, the former Barcelona manager, in the Bundesliga, after signing from the Catalan giants himself.

    While Thiago impressed throughout the season, the undoubted highlight was his stunning scissor-kick winner in stoppage time against VFB Stuttgart.

    He may not have played a huge part for Spain under Vicente del Bosque, but he would doubtless have been dreaming about impressing in Brazil.

    Then came the injury.

    Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said, per the BBC: "A young man who wanted to come back at theWorld Cup, and suddenly his dreams are burst. We will take care of him now and make sure he is fit at the start of the season."

    Spain will hope that is the case, because he can be part of a brilliant young midfield that can take Euro 2016 by storm.

    It's just a shame for Barcelona that they decided to let him go to join Pep without much of a fight.

The Young Hitman Rodrigo

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    Rodrigo on the ball for Benfica.
    Rodrigo on the ball for Benfica.Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

    The Benfica striker has shown good form for Spain's U21 side, with 15 goals in 16 appearances. He is the highest goalscorer in that category for La Roja.

    He struck for his club side in the Portuguese League Cup final, helping them to 2-0 victory.

    However, his season ended on a sour note, missing a penalty in Sevilla's Europa league spot-kick shootout triumph over Benfica in Turin.

    Don't let that fool you; Rodrigo has a lot of potential and at 23, plenty of time to make good on it.

    Only Diego Costa should be retained from the current batch of strikers.

    If Fernando Llorente was ignored for the World Cup squad, then it's unlikely he'll be in the Euro 2016 edition, when he will be 31.

    It's time to bring through the next generation.

The Technically Gifted Isco

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    Isco has plenty of promise.
    Isco has plenty of promise.Israel L. Murillo/Associated Press

    The Real Madrid midfielder has had an up-and-down season.

    For large parts of it, he was out of the team and found it hard to break into Carlo Ancelotti's preferred attacking trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.

    Behind that, the only spot in the midfield he could occupy would be the most attacking one, which Angel Di Maria was holding down with conviction.

    When he left Malaga, he would have hoped to feature more for Los Blancos.

    It started off so well, making his debut at home against Real Betis, scoring the winner and assisting the other goal in a 2-1 win.

    But the 4-3-3 was not perfect for his style and he was often out of the side.

    He notched 11 goals in 53 games in his first season for Real, not a bad tally.

    All in all, it can be considered a success, given that he was part of the team that played in the Champions League final win, La Decima.

    Spain's formation is far more suited to a man of his abilities; he can play across the three attacking midfielders behind the striker.

     

The Sociedad Defender: Inigo Martinez

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    Inigo Martinez is ready for more action.
    Inigo Martinez is ready for more action.Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    The Real Sociedad centre-back made his debut with Spain in August 2013 but hasn't had much of a look in since.

    But now it's time to give him more experience and get him ready to be a squad player at Euro 2016.

    Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique were both abysmal during the World Cup and while nobody is advocating dropping either of them permanently, there is still good reason to test out others there.

    He needs to improve a little on the discipline front, picking up 12 yellow cards in 40 La Liga and Champions League games.

    However, he wasn't sent off last season, in stark contrast to Ramos who was dismissed an atrocious three times.

The New Red Devil Herrera

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    Herrera gets stuck in.
    Herrera gets stuck in.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Spain's midfield needs more bite (and not in the Luis Suarez sense).

    Ander Herrera can give them it, being the Xavi to the more silky talents of the aforementioned Thiago Alcantara and Isco.

    He plays in the centre of the park, winning the ball back well and getting moves going.

    The Spaniard can be the link man between the defence and the attack, even if he's not box-to-box in a rampaging Yaya Toure sense.

    Manchester United's new signing is also good off the pitch too, a fine speaker and a good representative for his team. Essentially captain material.

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