The CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers are a problem for the leagues in Europe as clubs wanted to withhold their players from traveling to South America.
However, it seems as though the players want to bypass these claims from the leagues and compete for their national team this international break. The Premier League was the first to put a statement urging its South American players to remain in the UK.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo spoke to the media after Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 victory over Watford FC. He confirmed that Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso would be heading on international duty to represent Argentina.
With the players departing for South America, they’ll have to quarantine for ten days. Thursday, September 9 vs. Bolivia will be their last game of the international break, and if they return right after, they’ll have to isolate until September 19.
“It’s a problem that not affect us but affects all clubs and all the South American players playing in the Premier League,” Nuno said. We have to obey the government law. We will try to do so, but at the same time, we don’t have any kind of help from FIFA, the government, or the Premier League in support in this situation.
“We know what it means for all of the players to play for their national teams. It’s something they’re very proud of, so what we are trying to do is anticipate the situations. So expecting that not only for the next international break but also there will be a couple more, so we need to be clear.”
Should they return immediately, both would be forced to isolate until September 19. As a result, they’ll miss the trip to Crystal Palace on September 11 and the Europa Conference League match at Rennes on September 16.
The first match both could be available would be against Chelsea FC on September 19; however, that seems unrealistic that they would be fit and ready to play with no training up to that point.
The more logical sense is that both return for the EFL Cup fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers on September 21, if not the North London Derby on September 26.