Monday October 7 2019
Mancini won’t rule out Arsenal’s Martinelli

Italy CT Roberto Mancini has refused to rule out a call-up for Brazil-born Arsenal attacker Gabriel Martinelli. “We need to wait...”

Martinelli only joined Arsenal over the summer but has already made an impact for the Gunners, with four goals in his first four appearances.

It has since emerged that the 18-year-old has an Italian passport, and reports the FIGC is looking into the prospect of calling him up.

“The lads have improved, Coaches are focusing on them in various Leagues and they can have great futures,” Mancini said at a Press conference for Euro 2020 qualifiers with Greece and Liechtenstein.

“As for De Rossi, we decided Buffon would be called up for the game in Turin against Netherlands. We were pleased to give our key players another chance to salute the fans.

“We planned on doing it with De Rossi too, but he’s injured. He hasn’t played for several weeks so we’ll see if there’s a possibility further down the line.”

The Azzurri are also without Inter midfielder Stefano Sensi and possibly Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi...

“We’ll see tomorrow if and how to replace them. We’ve called an extra player on the right, Di Lorenzo, because he deserved it.

“We’ll make assessments in midfield. We’ll certainly call up Tonali after the first game, which he’ll play with the Under-21s.

“It was already decided. I don’t know if we’ll call up someone else. We’ll do it only if there are other unforeseen events.

“Insigne and Bernardeschi are crucial. We hope they keep playing in the League. As for Martinelli, it’s not so easy to apply to play for Italy.

“We need to wait for players with two passports. In the meantime, we’ll continue to exchange Immobile with Belotti.

“It’s right to rest one of them and let the other play. As for Mario, I must say that physically he wasn’t very fit.

“He’s returned after months: he did well against Napoli but needs to play more games. Having said that, I have talked to him.

“One year ago we were in great difficulty. Now we’ve put together a good team in 15 months. We’re happy with where we are. After that, anyone can say what they want...

“I wanted a group with Germany, France, Spain and Netherlands, but it wasn’t given to us!”

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