Nacho Monreal has been called up to the Spain squad to replace injured Barcelona defender Jordi Alba.
The Arsenal left-back hasn’t played an international since November 2013 but got the nod after an impressive season in north London last year.
New Spain boss Julen Lopetegui said that players were being handed a clean slate on taking over from Vicente Del Bosque, and his selection of Monreal suggests the 30-year-old’s international career isn’t over.
“Arsenal full-back Ignacio Monreal has been selected by Julen Lopetegui,” a statement read, “and will join the squad in Shkoder tonight in order to be available with the rest of the squad for the game between Albania and Spain.”
Fellow Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerín was reported to have picked up an injury on duty with the Spanish Under-21s last night, but sources close to the player have informed MirrorFootball that it was “a minor knock” and the defender is not expected to miss any time.
Spain missed out on revenge for their Euro 2016 exit to Italy as Danielle de Rossi’s penalty 10 minutes from time salvaged a vital point for the Azzurri in Turin on Thursday night.
The visitors went ahead in the most unexpected of circumstances when a Gianluigi Buffon howler handed Vitolo the easy task of slotting into an empty net.
Julien Lopetegui’s men looked well on the road to Russia until the assistant referee overruled German official Felix Brych’s initial decision when Sergio Ramos tripped Eder inside the area.
De Rossi calmly slotted past David De Gea from the spot and all of Spain’s first-half dominance was nearly forgotten when Andrea Belotti bundled home only for Italian celebrations to be cut short by the offside flag.