In recent days, Roberto Mancini’s selections have raised some eyebrows. The Italian national team manager called up 30 players for the upcoming international break.
The Azzurri will host England on March 23 in Naples for the first Euro 2024 qualifying fixture, before taking on Malta three days later away from home.
While Juventus duo Leonardo Bonucci and Federico Chiesa received calls, Manuel Locatelli has been omitted despite being a stalwart in Max Allegri’s formation.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the reasons behind Mancini’s decision remain purely technical.
For one, the former Man City manager had often deployed Locatelli as a box-to-box midfielder. However, the latter has been interpreting a deeper role in Turin, sitting in front of the defense.
Thus, Mancini opted for other options, including Matteo Pessina who has been featuring in a more advanced role for Monza.
Nonetheless, the former Sassuolo man remains on alert, as the national team would surely resort to his services if any of the called-up midfielders sustains an injury in the coming days.
Juve FC say
With all due respect to Mancini’s choices, surely Locatelli deserves a spot above some of the other players who were selected. Arguably, the same goes for Nicolò Fagiolo, but at least the young man can feature for Italy U21.
Nevertheless, Locatelli should keep his head up and take this opportunity to recharge his batteries amidst what has been a grueling campaign.
The omission of Locatelli, Fagioli and pherhaps Miretti seems a bit strange to me. Then he calls up the horrendous Bonucci. I really hope Mancini won`t risk Chiesa to much. Like he did with Zaniolo after his first ACL before her ruptured his second.