Jorge Sampaoli has admitted that both Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi may not make Argentina’s World Cup.
Let that sink in for a moment.
The Serie A pair have 39 league goals between them so far this season — if they were born in any other country, their seats on the plane to Russia would already be reserved.
Comparing Argentina’s embarrassment of riches in the forward department to England’s options makes for hilarious (and depressing) reading…
Lionel Messi v Harry Kane
Both players will shoulder the weight of expectation of their respective nations once the tournament is underway.
Messi and Kane are currently level on 35 club goals this season and both scored the goal(s) that secured World Cup qualification for their countries.
England’s talismanic forward is a world-class goalscorer but Messi is, well… Messi.
Sergio Aguero v Jamie Vardy
The Three Lions’ chief party boy has scored as many league goals as Romelu Lukaku and Roberto Firmino this season.
Two of which deserve to be nominated for Goal of the Season (vs Spurs and West Brom).
But alas, with Man City coasting to the title, Aguero has bagged 21 Premier League goals — the fourth season in a row he’s scored 20+ in the league.
Gonzalo Higuain v Marcus Rashford
Higuain isn’t particularly popular with Argentina fans.
Many of them hold the Juventus No9 forward responsible for their recent failures in major international finals.
However, his goal record is impressive by any measure — in the last decade he’s scored 255 goals in 447 club games.
Rashford is a sparkling young talent and he may well reach or surpass Higuain’s level, but as it stands, you have to side with the proven goalscorer.
Paulo Dybala v Danny Welbeck
Here’s where it starts to get embarrassing.
Dat Guy Welbz has scored 24 goals for Arsenal. In total.
Four seasons, 100 games, 24 goals.
In contrast, Dybala has 21 goals for Juventus just this season.
Mauro Icardi v Glenn Murray
You’ve got to laugh, otherwise you’ll cry.
Five strikers deep and Argentina boast a man with 100 goals in 172 games for Inter Milan.
Having joined Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah in bagging four goals last weekend, Icardi is now set to challenge Ciro Immobile for the Capocannoniere (Serie A’s equivalent of the Golden Boot).
And England? They’re considering a 34-year-old back-post bully.
Murray’s efforts for Brighton this campaign have been admirable but come on, there’s no contest.
And that’s why we should all be praying three times a day for Harry Kane’s fitness.