Celta Vigo midfielder Brais Mendez is expected to be called up to the Spain squad for Euro 2020 following Sergio Busquets’ positive test for COVID-19 ahead of the tournament.
Busquets immediately left the Spain camp, while his close contacts are isolating but have stayed with the group, which makes it’s likely he won’t be coming back. Jordi Alba has also replaced him as captain.
Coach Luis Enrique only named 24 players for his final squad, meaning that two of the available place went unused. However, UEFA’s deadline for final squad submissions has since passed, with changes only permitted at this stage in the event of injury or illness, and Mendez appears to be at the very least on standby to step in as a late minute replacement.
Marca reports that he has cut short a summer holiday on the Greek island of Mykonos to urgently fly to Madrid following a call from the Spanish federation (RFEF).
The 24-year-old helped Celta climb back into the top half of La Liga this season, having dangerously flirted with relegation in 2019/20, operating in several positions. Primarily an attacking player, he would not be considered a like for like replacement for Busquets.
Mendez is already known to Enrique. The Spain coach was in charge at Celta when a teenage Mendez was rising through the youth ranks and on the fringes of the B team.
It was also Enrique who handed Mendez his one and only senior cap to date in 2018. That came in an international friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina in Las Palmas and he marked it with a goal.
Spain’s preparations for the final tournament have been derailed by Busquets’ positive test. The senior squad have pulled out of a final warm-up game scheduled against Lithuania and it will now be the Under-21 squad that faces the Baltic nation this week instead.