Sunday March 22 2020
Mancini: 'Different Italy at Euro 2021'

Roberto Mancini admits his Italy squad will inevitably change with the Euro 2020 delay to next year, hoping to reap the rewards of improvements to Nicolò Zaniolo, Federico Chiesa, Emerson Palmieri and more.

The tournament was due to kick off on June 12, but has been postponed to the summer of 2021, something that could well transform the Azzurri squad.

“Clearly, recovering a player with unique characteristics like Nicolò Zaniolo is important and the many young players we have already in the squad will be more experienced next summer,” Mancini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“If the likes of Federico Chiesa were to move to a bigger club and play international club football, that could also speed up the maturation process. As I told his father, Federico has to play with the utmost enthusiasm. Others like Domenico Berardi ought to be a star already with his capabilities, but he’s still 25 and can grow a great deal in future.”

Berardi’s Sassuolo teammate Manuel Locatelli is also pushing to get into the Italy line-up.

“He has a season ahead of him to confirm his form and propose his candidacy. As for the full-backs, we knew Adam Masina, although he disappeared from the radar a bit after his move to Watford. Luca Pellegrini already spent time with the senior squad and can improve. It’d be nice if Emerson Palmieri, who hasn’t played much for Chelsea, could come and play in Italy.”

Ciro Immobile is Capocannoniere for Lazio, but Andrea Belotti seems to have lost his way for Torino.

“No, Belotti has always worked like crazy, maybe too much. Torino struggled this season, but Belotti was always there to give his contribution. Gallo and Immobile remain the guarantees for our Italy attack.

“If Francesco Caputo repeats the season he just had for Sassuolo, I would undoubtedly consider him.”

Italy aren’t the only team who have an extra 12 months to develop young talent, as the same is true for France, England, Holland, Germany and Spain.

“I expect a European Championship of a very high level, of great quality. We will try to win a top tournament,” added Mancini.

“I can’t wait to stand in front of the bench and listen to the national anthem play out. After everything the country is going through, it’s going to be an immense sensation.”

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