Mexico will miss ‘Tecatito’ Corona on the World Cup

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Panic swept via Mexican soccer circles final week when information emerged that Sevilla winger Jesus “Tecatito” Corona had suffered an injury that will likely keep him out of the World Cup.

After fracturing his fibula and damaging his left ankle, the Spanish membership introduced that the 29-year-old Mexico star is predicted to be out for 4 to 5 months, making it inconceivable that he’ll be slot in time for the journey to Qatar this November.

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Barring a fast and miraculous restoration, it leaves a large gap in El Tri‘s XI heading into the World Cup. Corona is arguably Mexico’s most gifted participant, and regardless of that he often drifts out and in of video games, he is an asset to the beginning roster who brings elite ranges of dribbling, pace and creativity. Maybe simply as importantly, he is additionally improved his defensive talents in recent times, offering a double-threat along with his interceptions and aggression.

His harm basically ends the dream of an imposing assault that might have featured Tecatito alongside Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez and Napoli winger Hirving Lozano.

Wanting forward, who will take his place? Earlier than delving into the Martino’s doubtless shortlist, there are some names worthy of a shout — Chivas’ Roberto Alvarado, Sporting Gijon’s Jordan Carrillo and Actual Oviedo’s Marcelo Flores. Flores, an 18-year-old Arsenal academy product, has the potential to surpass everybody on this record, however might have to be affected person earlier than securing a extra outstanding function with Mexico.

These are undoubtedly enormous cleats to fill, however listed here are the candidates to take Corona’s beginning spot for Mexico within the World Cup.

Uriel Antuna | Cruz Azul
Age: 25

Mexico caps/objectives: 32/9

What places him highest on the record is the truth that he is incessantly been a minimum of a backup and occasional starter on the appropriate wing for Mexico supervisor Gerardo “Tata” Martino. Though Antuna would not have the identical stage of creativity or dribbling as Corona, the 25-year-old is an extremely agile and direct possibility that may be excellent in counter-attacks from the appropriate flank.

Antuna can be the doubtless starter if the World Cup have been tomorrow, however there’s nonetheless loads of time for others on this record to make their case over him. He hasn’t had the most effective begin to the Liga MX season both. With the Cruz Azul winger leaving a lot to be desired within the 2022 Apertura to this point, it would not be a shock to see Martino look elsewhere.

Diego Lainez | Braga (on mortgage from Real Betis)
Age: 22

Mexico caps/objectives: 20/3

Subsequent up can be Diego Lainez, who’s on mortgage this season. If Martino is wanting a participant with extra flashy traits which might be much like Corona’s, the promising and risk-taking 22-year-old can be a simple decide. Even when he was having points claiming minutes at Betis, Lainez has persistently been a harmful participant when utilized by Martino.

Now with Braga, he has supplied flashes of brilliance in his first couple of appearances within the 2022-23 Primeira Liga season. Constant minutes would do a lot to assist his case for a beginning function with Mexico, and on Sunday, he showcased what he might present for membership and nation after amassing his first help with Braga.

Orbelin Pineda | AEK Athens (on mortgage from Celta Vigo)
Age: 26

Mexico caps/objectives: 48/6

Realistically talking, the gaps between each title on this record are minimal, that means that it would solely be a matter of time earlier than Orbelin Pineda rockets up the depth chart and claims the beginning spot for El Tri.

In a state of affairs much like Lainez, the 26-year-old has discovered greener pastures after leaving Spain, at present on mortgage with Greece’s AEK Athens from Celta Vigo. He is been an instantaneous revelation for the membership led by former Chivas and San Jose Earthquakes supervisor Matias Almeyda, thriving within the preseason after which kicking off the 2022-23 Greek Tremendous League event with a aim and help.

What helps Pineda is that he is a daily call-up for Martino, typically occupying a spot on the left wing, which should not be an issue for somebody like Lozano who can play on the appropriate. That mentioned, Pineda is within the mould of a playmaker as an alternative of a conventional winger, presumably leaving him behind others like Lainez or Antuna.

Alexis Vega | Chivas
Age: 24

Mexico caps/objectives: 19/3

Chivas’ Alexis Vega is one other title to keep watch over. In a position to play as a ahead, second striker or left winger, count on the 24-year-old to a minimum of be on the flight to Qatar on account of his versatility.

As well-rounded as he’s, he would not have the identical pace or explosiveness as others on the record. When given golden alternatives with the nationwide workforce, he is additionally usually had points with making a lot of an influence. Assuming Martino provides him probabilities in upcoming friendlies, Vega might want to profit from them with a purpose to cement his place.

Alejandro Zendejas | Club America
Age: 24

Mexico caps/objectives: 2/0

He is on the surface wanting in, however we will not ignore Membership America’s Alejandro Zendejas. The 24-year-old Mexican-American has found a renaissance in his early profession, thriving with Necaxa after which following via along with his rising Liga MX hype with Las Aguilas in 2022.

The one concern for the energetic midfielder is that it could be too little too late for him. His expertise with Mexico is restricted, holding simply two worldwide caps via friendlies since final October. It is troublesome to think about Martino trusting a participant who has but to participate in an official match with the nationwide workforce.

Rodolfo Pizarro | Monterrey (on mortgage from Inter Miami)
Age: 28

Mexico caps/objectives: 38/5

Rodolfo Pizarro is a long-shot on account of his poor type for membership and nation, however he stays on the record due to his familiarity with Martino’s system. At 28 years of age, he has extra expertise than every other title within the operating and is commonly included within the supervisor’s call-ups.

On type alone, he has slim probabilities for a beginning function, but when Martino decides to provide extra worth to expertise for Corona’s alternative, Pizarro might find yourself being an unanticipated a part of the Mexico XI.

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