Argentina call up Gonzalo Higuain for October World Cup qualifiers

Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain was named to Argentina's squad for October World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay, the Argentina FA announced on Friday.

The list of players also includes Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano as coach Edgardo Bauza named 24 players to the team who see action outside of the Argentina league. Bauza said he would name the local players on Tuesday.

Bauza said he spoke with Higuain and that the Serie A player was eager to return. Higuain sat out the September qualifiers at the petition of Juventus, who wanted to give him time to return to form.

"I had a talk with Higuain and it went very well," said Bauza. "He is very enthusiastic and can't wait to return to play."

Bauza admitted that his team need to improve on offense and said that both Peru and Paraguay were rivals to be taken seriously.

"We beat Venezuela on our reputation, but we can improve," he said. "On offense there is so much more we can do."

Manchester City attacker Sergio Aguero, who sat out the September matches due to a calf injury, was again called up. Paris Saint-Germain's Javier Pastore, who missed September's games against Uruguay and Venezuela to a foot injury, will again be out.

The players will travel directly to Lima on Oct. 2, unlike the September call-up when they first practiced together in Buenos Aires and then traveled.

The Albiceleste play Peru in Lima on Oct. 6 and host Paraguay five days later. Earlier this month, they moved up to third place in CONMEBOL qualifying through eight games, just a point behind leaders Uruguay.

Complete squad:

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzmán (Tigres).

Defenders: Facundo Roncaglia (Celta de Vigo), Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Martin Demichelis (Espanyol), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Matias Kranevitter (Sevilla), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Augusto Fernández (Atletico Madrid), Ever Banega (Inter Milan), Erik Lamela (Tottenham), Nicolas Gaitan (Atletico Madrid), Ángel Di Maria (PSG).

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona-ESP), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Pratto (Atletico Mineiro), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus) and Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus).