Italian Football Federation youth co-ordinator Arrigo Sacchi has urged Serie A clubs to not waste the nation’s up-and-coming talent.
Although pleased that the Azzurrini reached the Final of the European U-21 Championship this month, the former Milan and Italy tactician wants to see more faith in youth.
“Clubs should not deny the national sides their players and then nail them to the bench on a Sunday afternoon,” Sacchi told Il Giornale.
“To be honest, I’m not very optimistic about our football movement as our clubs don’t allow youngsters to play.
“Teams in Serie A don’t focus on youngsters like they do in Spain and Holland – and those nations subsequently produce a lot by taking that choice.
“We don’t lack talent,” Sacchi added. “Lorenzo Insigne, Manolo Gabbiadini, Marco Verratti, Ciro Immobile and Mattia Destro are players who could do well in the top flight.
“But Spain are ahead of us because they start earlier with their youngsters and they don’t have the mind-set that we do.”
Spain were crowned European Under-21 champions when they beat Devis Mangia’s side 4-2 in Tuesday’s Final.
“It is still a prestigious result,” Sacchi continued. “It would have been impossible to do any better, doing worse was almost a foregone conclusion.”