Tite has taken another opportunity to try some new faces in the latest Brazil squad like Barcelona’s Malcom, and won over fans by waving goodbye to Willian
Brazil manager Tite has announced his latest 23-man squad for next month’s two friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Argentina and it seems that the post-World Cup policy is about constantly trying new players ahead of Copa América 2019.
Tite has made it clear that the old guard who under-performed in Russia 2018 will be punished for their poor displays. The evidence is dropping the likes of Fagner, Fernandinho and Paulinho, whereas Willian has been added to a list that keeps increasing from call-up to call-up.
Among all the new additions, the most surprising one is that of Gremio’s youth team goalkeeper Phelipe, who will obviously not get a great deal of game-time, but the coaching staff seem to believe that adding him would offer valuable experience as well as encourage other youngsters.
Meanwhile, Eder Militao has been moved from the right-back position he recently occupied against El Salvador to centre-half, the new position in which he has currently impressed with Porto. Bordeaux centre-back Pablo, ex-Corinthians, also got his first ever call-up for the national team. Meanwhile Thiago Silva and Felipe Luis have both been dropped for Joao Miranda and Marcelo.
It seems that Tite already trusts them and wants to give a chance to other veterans this time around, while including as many new and/or young faces as possible. The most disappointing pick in the back-line is perhaps the return of Danilo. Although the comeback of his Manchester City teammate Ederson is more than welcomed by Brazil fans.
With Fabinho seemingly being a lock at right-back spot, taking him out of the equation as an alternative for Casemiro in midfield, Tite has opted for Hannover midfielder Walace. Despite helping Brazil win the Olympics games in Rio, the former Gremio man has not really impressed in Germany, which makes his inclusion a bit surprising, and highlights a shortage of options for this position.
Renato Augusto who out-performed both Fernandinho and Paulinho in the World Cup, gets another chance after missing the last FIFA date due to important ties with his Chinese club. It is interesting that besides Renato who is 30-years-old, the oldest midfielder in Tite’s squad is Casemiro at 26.
Just like his Manchester City teammates, Gabriel Jesus was also back in the squad although he has not really done anything since the last FIFA date, to justify why he would be included having missed out on the past two games.
Richarlison who impressed with his brace against El Salvador retains a spot, but with Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus being the main contenders for the number-nine role, the Everton star may well have to settle with a position on the flanks. Gremio’s Everton who impressed this year in club action, keeps his place despite having been mediocre in his two Brazil appearances, and so does Neymar, the newly-appointed permanent captain.
But the biggest surprise is perhaps dropping Willian, which had to happen sooner rather than later, but the fans were starting to lose hope that Tite would ever take this move. There is controversy about his replacement though, as Malcom has yet to start a game for Barcelona this season, whereas Lucas Moura has justified his worth with Tottenham in England.