Squad news

LASSAD AND THE AFRICAN CUP

04 Jan 2012
Oltra has been left with three strikers after the departure of Bodipo to the African Cup of Nations; there was the fear that Lassad was going to be picked too, but at this point itís an improbable scenario.

Deportivo is pending in an improbable late call of Lassad Nouioui ahead of the African Cup of Nations before making any emergency move in the window transfer market. The tournament begins on January 21 and so far Tunisia hasnít picked and neither contacted the striker.

The national team of Tunisia was making a stage in Spain between December 23 and January 1, which included a 2-0 away win against Basque Country and a goalless draw against Catalunya in Barcelona, and coach Sami Trabelsi picked eight players for foreign leagues without taking Lassad into account; the official list for the African Cup will be revealed on January 10.

Sami Trabelsi has prepared a new stage and announced a 26-man squad that will travel to Dubai on January 6 for friendlies against Sudan on January 9 and Cote DíIvoire on January 13. Dropped from the previous roster are goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustafa, defenders Fatah Gharbi and Hatem Bejaoui, and striker Lamjed Chehoudi. Taking their place is the European-based contingent of Sami Karim Haggui, Ammar Jemal, Houcine Ragued, Jamel Saihi, Sami Allagui, and Sabeur Khelifa. So, it seems that Lassad wonít be considered.

It will mean good news for a Deportivo that needs goals, and therefore its best striker on this season, in order to keep the pace of the last matchdays; if Lassad leaves then coach Oltra will be left only with Xisco and Riki for the centre of the attack, two players with the needed punch, but at the same time unstable due to their endless physical problems.

Who is now out of the equation is Rodolfo Bodipo, he was picked by Equatorial Guinea for the tournament and will miss at least one month of competition. The training stage for the Guinean team begun yesterday and the three group stage meetings for them are taking place at the end of the month: Libya (Jan 21), Senegal (Jan 25) and Zambia (Jan 29). If Equatorial Guinea passes the first round, then Bodipo will miss an additional week as the knockout phase starts on February 4.

The newspapers in Galicia were speculating that Deportivo was looking at the Portuguese market in order to sign a foreign striker; but it seems that the clubís officials are waiting to have a clear picture on Lassadís case before making any final move.

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