Philippines team manager Dan Palami revealed that Javier Patino has made himself available to play in upcoming joint qualifiers 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup.
The 27-year-old Spanish-born’s commitment to the Azkals was previously questioned by head coach Thomas Dooley after he did not participate in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup or the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup.
However, Palami insisted that the former Buriram United’s player has remained willing to be involved in the national team since his last appearance in a March 2014 friendly against Azerbaijan.
“He has always been interested in playing for the Azkals,” Palami told the Inquirer. “He only needs to make arrangements with his club in China, after that he will play.”
Patino has enjoyed a good start to Chinese Super League this season with Henan Jianye, scoring five goals in nine appearances.
His presence will be a huge addition for the Philippines in their qualifying campaign against Bahrain, Yemen, Uzbekistan and North Korea.