The World Cup is just around the corner and with the final games of qualification in Europe, it gives a great chance to players to make a statement in competitive action.
Unfortunately for Chelsea's Fernando Torres, he will miss Spain's remaining two fixtures against Belarus and Georgia through injury, handing an opportunity to a handful of other players who could steal his seat on the plane to Brazil next summer…
Michu, Swansea City
The Swansea hit-man has finally earned his first international call-up in the wake of Torres' injury, and it's completely deserved. 28 goals in all competitions for the Swans since his bargain £2m move from Rayo Vallecano last summer have made Michu a hero in South Wales, and this hasn't gone unnoticed by del Bosque. With the 27-year-old almost certain to score more goals than Torres for the remainder of the season, a good performance in the qualifiers could set him up to be in contention.
Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid
Despite having two caps for Brazil, Costa is now set to become a Spain international after being granted Spanish nationality over the summer. The situation has caused a lot of controversy, but the 25-year-old is the best centre forward in La Liga right now, as he leads the scoring charts with ten goals - two more than Lionel Messi and three more than Cristiano Ronaldo. A combination of pace, power and deadly finishing, Costa could be Spain's first choice once he gets his first cap.
Alvaro Negredo, Manchester City
Del Bosque has always been a fan of Negredo, whose goalscoring record of eight goals in just 17 games for La Roja makes him a strong candidate to start for Spain. Now playing for Manchester City after four years of goalscoring for Sevilla, Negredo has maintained his prolific touch for the Blues, and more goals will surely guarantee him a place in the 23-man squad.
Roberto Soldado, Tottenham Hotspur
Former Valencia hitman Soldado may be slipping down the pecking order after just two league goals for Spurs - both from the penalty spot. Whilst impressive at the Confederations Cup over the summer, Soldado has been left out of del Bosque's squad for the Belarus and Georgia games, preferring to go with Michu and Negredo as his strikers. The 28-year-old needs to rediscover his predatory instincts for Tottenham in order to make sure he's in the manager's thoughts.
Fernando Llorente, Juventus
Once one of the hottest strikers in world football, Llorente feels like the forgotten man at the moment. Despite just five goals for Athletic Bilbao last season - amidst a row with manager Marcelo Bielsa - Llorente secured a big move to Juventus, where he was expected to improve on a wasted season. However, Juve's signing of Carlos Tevez has consigned Llorente to the substitutes bench, resulting in rumours of a January loan move to either Arsenal or Barcelona. Should he get regular action in the near future - whether that be at Juventus or elsewhere - then Llorente could play himself back into the reckoning with just months to go until the biggest tournament on earth.
Which strikers should del Bosque take to Brazil next summer? Does Torres warrant a place with so many other goalscorers available?
image: © Benjamin Blackler