Simone Zaza will reportedly be recalled for Italy’s World Cup play-off against Sweden after matching Liga scoring records for Valencia.
The Azzurri must get past Sweden if they are to participate in the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer.
Torino striker Andrea Belotti was given the all-clear to resume athletic work from next week after a check-up showed the knee ligaments are healing well.
However, it’d be a huge risk to get Il Gallo back in time to start in such a crucial set of matches on November 10 and 13.
According to the Corriere dello Sport, Coach Giampiero Ventura has become convinced that Zaza is the best choice to fill in for Belotti.
He was on target again this weekend, becoming the first foreign player at Valencia to score in five consecutive Liga games since Mario Kempes in 1977.
Zaza was also voted Player of the Month in La Liga and is second only to Barcelona hero Leo Messi in terms of goals scored.
The 26-year-old has found the net seven times in his last five Liga matches, including a hat-trick against Malaga.
It’s true that Zaza hasn’t got the best record for Italy at senior level, scoring one goal in 16 caps and missing a penalty in the Euro 2016 shoot-out with Germany, but he hasn’t even been called up for a year.