Thursday October 8 2020
Mancini: 'El Shaarawy and Caputo are options'

Roberto Mancini notes Stephan El Shaarawy and Francesco Caputo bring ‘different characteristics’ to the Italy squad, so could have a spot at the European Championships.

They were both on target in the 6-0 friendly victory against Moldova in Florence on Wednesday evening.

“I am satisfied because despite changing almost everyone, and having a few difficulties initially finding the right positions, we kept the same mentality, enjoyed ourselves and played some good football,” said the CT in his press conference.

The Azzurri haven’t just won 15 out of his 22 games in charge, they’ve also scored 53 goals and conceded 13.

“We tried to do something a little different today and push more players into attacking positions. Clearly, that’s not what we’ll do in the games against Poland and Holland.

“The main thing is the attacking mentality of the team for most of the match, which allows us to create many scoring opportunities.”

El Shaarawy bagged a brace in the 6-0 win over Moldova, but his deadline day loan move to Roma from Shanghai Shenhua fell apart.

“El Shaarawy is here because he deserves it. I think it’s a pity he didn’t return to play in Italy, as that certainly would’ve helped him in this period.”

The focus was on Ciccio Caputo, who at the age of 33 scored on his Italy debut and put himself in contention for the Euros next summer.

“Caputo is different to Ciro Immobile, perhaps more similar to Gallo Belotti, even if he moves around more and works hard for the team. Ciccio moves well in small spaces, he always pops up in the goal-scoring positions, much like the other two.

“They’ve all scored a lot of goals in their careers. There’s no saying I won’t change a few things, maybe bringing three centre-forwards and leaving something else behind.

“It’s true that Caputo is more like Pippo Inzaghi, who can shake off his marker in tight spaces. He has slightly different characteristics to the others. We’ll see.”

Federico Chiesa was in the stands this evening, just days after completing his transfer from Fiorentina to Juventus.

“Chiesa should be grateful to Fiorentina for having grown up here, given the chance to play regularly and grow in a big club. Now he has joined a different club, he’s an important player for us and that has not changed. He has enormous room for improvement and we hope he can continue on that path.”

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