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Barcelona teenager Gavi named in latest Spain squad

The 17-year-old is the surprise inclusion

SL Benfica v FC Barcelona: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona midfielder Gavi has been handed a first call-up to the Spain national team after impressing for the Catalan giants in the early weeks of the season.

Luis Enrique has made the surprise decision to call up the 17-year-old to his squad for the Nations League semi-final against Italy on Wednesday, October 6 in Milan.

The other semi-final sees Belgium take on France in Turin with the winners set to meet in the final at the San Siro on October 10.

Gavi is included along with Barca team-mates Pedri, Sergio Busquets, and Eric Garcia.

Here’s the rest of Luis Enrique’s 23-man squad for the Nations League final four.

Luis Enrique spoke about his decision to call up Gavi at a news conference.

“He has surprised me, but I’ve known him from Barça’s youth team and have no doubts about the performances he can give in the future. For me the fact that there are injuries means I can see others. With this calendar these things happen and these opportunities happen. He is a very Barça-style interior, both with the ball and without, and contributes a lot of things.”

As expected, there’s no call-up yet for Barcelona’s Ansu Fati who is slowly coming back from a lengthy lay-off due to a knee injury and Luis Enrique admitted he was tempted to call up the teenager.

“The first thing is that it is a joy to see him back. And yes, I wanted to call him and bring him, even if it was not to play, just to be there. But you have to put in context where he comes from, how many months he has been away. We have decided it’s better not to bring him so that he can recover well with his club.”

Ansu enjoyed a memorable goalscoring comeback against Levante on Sunday and managed another 22 minutes of first-team action against Benfica in the Champions League.