Nice Argentine goalkeeper, Walter Benitez might be considered to be named in Les Blues squad in the future.
Didier Deschamps is reportedly keeping an eye on Nice Argentine goalkeeper Walter Benitez, who recently received French citizenship with his wife. He has been one of the most underrated figures between the sticks in the European top flights, even by his own country, Argentina. Albiceleste has never named him in the squad up to this day despite his consistently solid form since his arrival in Ligue 1 in 2017.
This season, Benitez has made ten clean sheets in 25 matches and named the man of the match twice, one of which was when Nice held PSG on the road in a goalless stalemate. Overall, the former Quilmes goalie has kept Nice clean sheets in 49 games from 156 appearances. It is interesting to see how he would fit the squad, should the Argentine be included in Deschamps squad.
Nice Argentine Goalkeeper is Being Considered for France International Fixtures
The Tough Competition in Les Blues
Walter Benitez’s in-form this season might not be a surprise as Nice’s backline has become one of the strong one at the under the Ligue 1 winner with Lille, Christopher Gaultier. The 29-year old goalie has been the key man of the team since 2018, even when their defence was not solid.
Unfortunately, Benitez definitely will not be the number one shot-stopper in France national team with Hugo Loris wearing the armband, or even number two with the impressive form of AC Milan’s Mike Maignan. The latter has also made ten clean sheets in 27 matches of all competitions this season and is still three years younger than Nice Argentine goalkeeper. However, Maignan has just earned one cap so far. Moreover, there is West Ham man Alphonse Areola who has just made three appearances. Unfortunately, the PSG loanee has not been the main figure in London Stadium, despite contributing six clean sheets in 12 games of all competitions. Thus, Benitez’s best shot might be fighting for the third goalkeeper slot against Areola, plus probably Nantes youngster, Alban Lafont who has been in-form as well this season.
The Tougher Rivalry in Albiceleste
The reason behind Lionel Scaloni’s decision for yet calling up Benitez remains unknown. The most likely one is that the Argentina boss has reserved Aston Villa man, Emiliano Martinez for the number one goalkeeper in the team, plus plenty of options for the number two and three in his favour.
Benitez is likely to face even tougher rivalry for the second even third spot, despite his stunning consistent form. Some of his contenders have been regularly selected for the squad such as Atalanta shot-stopper Juan Musso who has earned two caps with Albiceleste and made 10 clean sheets in 33 game this season Villarreal’s Geronimo Rulli also with two caps and 13 clean sheets in 32 matches, Monterrey man Esteban Andrada with four appearances and nine clean sheets in 25 fixtures plus the 26-year old Agustin Rossi who frequently has been selected for the squad but has yet earned his first cap. He made 13 clean sheets in 32 games for Boca Juniors in 2021.
Last but not least, Scaloni’s unusual preference to include the 35-year old Franco Armani in the squad during his reign, despite his unconvincing performance between the sticks could get in Benitez’s way to make the cut in Argentina squad. Armani, who featured in the last two games of World Cup 2018, had only 18 clean sheets in 44 matches with River Plate last season.
Nevertheless, regarding Walter Benitez’s top form in the past four years, Scaloni should be giving him the same chance as his contenders, especially considering their lack of consistency. Nice Argentine goalkeeper deserves an opportunity to fight for his spot for the world cup.
Main Image Credit Embed from Getty Images