Costa injury with Chelsea forces Spain rethink. Youngster called up

Diego Costa Chelsea

Chelsea striker Diego Costa will be forced to drop out of the Spain squad, with a promising youngster called upon in his place.

Following the hamstring injury suffered by Chelsea striker Diego Costa, as they beat Hull City 3-2 over the weekend, the 26-year-old is unlikely to participate in Spain's upcoming encounters with Ukraine and the Netherlands.

Since declaring his choice to represent Spain, rather than his native Brazil ahead of the 2014 World Cup, Costa has struggled to feature regularly for national team coach Vicente del Bosque due to one injury problem or another.

Thus far, Diego Costa has made seven international appearances since his debut exactly a year ago in the friendly against Italy as Del Bosque's side prepared for the World Cup. He has just the one goal to his name, which came when Spain ran out 4-0 winners against minnows Luxembourg on 12th October 2014, in the EURO 2016 qualifying match.

Whilst the Spanish Federation haven't definitively removed Diego Costa from the squad call announced by La Roja last week, the nature of the hamstring injury has forced them to call up a replacement in preparation.

As such, Spain have turned to 21-year-old Málaga striker, Juanmi, who has been a revelation for the Costa del Sol club throughout this season, as they fight for a European finish in La Liga.

His numbers are clearly no match for those of Diego Costa with Chelsea, but Juanmi has netted a respectable seven goals in 24 games so far in La Liga. Beyond finding the back of the net, though, it's his overall level of performance and team contribution that has earned him the opportunity of a full international debut.

Spain are looking for three important points against Ukraine, as they bid to strengthen their position in EURO 2016 qualifying later this week. Although Juanmi is perhaps unlikely to feature in this game, he'll have more than a good chance of earning his first international cap when La Roja take on the Netherlands in Amsterdam a few days later.

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