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Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno called up to Spanish NT

As a result of a player testing positive for COVID.

Villarreal v Valencia CF - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

For Luis Enrique to snub the leading Spanish goal scorer in La Liga last season was....unforgivable, but with Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal testing positive for COVID, Enrique has called up Gerard Moreno in his stead.

Gerard scored 18 goals for Villarreal last season, as well as three goals for Spain in three matches. Enrique snubbing him in his initial team call made no sense at all, so it’s good to see that that error has been rectified.

It’s unfortunate for the La Real man, who has only been capped seven times and was hoping to make his mark in the national team, but good news for Gerard, though it makes things somewhat complicated for Villarreal as they prepare for the new season. The Submarine have two friendlies remaining—against Real Sociedad on September 2, and versus Levante on September 5—so Gerard (and Pau Torres, previously called up) will miss both of those.

Spain plays in the Nations League on September 3 against Germany (in Stuttgart) and host Ukraine on September 6.

The La Liga season is scheduled to start on September 12, with two more international breaks quickly upcoming— October 10-13, and November 11-17. T

Of course, we still don’t know nor against whom Villarreal will open its season, nor where. And there are still plenty of personnel decisions to be made over the next week or two, or even over the next month (the transfer window closes on October 5, I believe). All we can say is, watch this space!