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Brighton left back Valentin Barco is pushing for spot within the Argentina squad for this summer’s Copa America.

Argentina kick-off the tournament on June 21 against Group A opponents Canada, before two more group stage fixtures against Chile and Peru.

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Barco, 19, was an unused substitute in their tune-up against Ecuador in Chicago yesterday and will hope to get game time in the final friendly versus Guatemala in Washington this Saturday.

Brighton left back Valentin Barco is pushing for a spot in Argentina's squad for the Copa America and Paris OlympicsBrighton left back Valentin Barco is pushing for a spot in Argentina's squad for the Copa America and Paris Olympics
Brighton left back Valentin Barco is pushing for a spot in Argentina's squad for the Copa America and Paris Olympics

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni will then announce his final squad for the tournament, as they bid to defend their title after beating Brazil 1-0 in the 2021 final at the Maracanã Stadium. Barco will also be involved in Argentina’s 2024 Olympics team in Paris this summer, starting July 24 against Morocco in Saint-Etienne.

It would represent quite the rise for Barco, who joined Brighton for around £7m from Boca Juniors last January – despite interest from Liverpool and Manchester City.

It looks another shrewd piece of business for Brighton and insiders at the club are quite rightly excited by his potential. Barco was introduced to the team slowly by previous boss Roberto De Zerbi and played more in the final stages of last season due to an ankle injury to regular left back Pervis Estupinan.

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Barco could be called upon from the start next term as Estupinan is expected to miss the first six weeks of the new campaign as he recovers from surgery. It’s set to be a key moment for Barco and his emergence could save Brighton from dipping into the transfer market in search of a left back this summer.

The former Boca man made three starts in the Premier League last term against Manchester City, Bournemouth and Manchester United and had six outings in total. Barco is ultra-competitive, he has decent pace, is very skilful and whips in dangerous crosses from the flank – his versatility to play anywhere down the left will bode well for club and country over the years.

Fabian Hürzeler is expected to be appointed as the new Brighton head coach in the coming days and one of his major responsibilities will be to maximise Barco’s potential. Brighton have a serious talent on their hands and two or three good seasons under Hürzeler could see him become a regular with Argentina and also bring major clubs circling.

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