An ever-present in a recently resurgent Roma side, Alessandro Florenzi is an established member of the Giallorossi’s starting XI and has a fairly secure position within Antonio Conte’s squad heading for France this summer.
What sets Florenzi apart is his versatility. With Conte chopping and changing between formations throughout qualification, and then again in subsequent friendlies, Florenzi has slotted in seamlessly in any number of positions.
He excels operating as a tireless box-to-box midfielder at the centre of a midfield five but is equally effective as a marauding wing-back in a 3-4-3. Lately, for the Azzurri, he has come on as an impact sub in an advanced wide position as part of a front three.
Conte obviously appreciates his versatility and in tournament football, with little time between fixtures and with injuries therefore an inevitability, players of his ilk are like gold dust.
More than just a hard-worker and a player of tactical flexibility, Florenzi has an energy that can set the tone for the Azzurri’s play. It can be infectious. With an ageing midfield a perennial Italian concern, as several of Florenzi’s teammates are north of 30, the 25-year-old offers a youthful exuberance that is in short supply elsewhere in the midfield.
Few are staking their claim with any conviction for the right back position and as such he could well provide Conte with the crossing ability to make himself a welcome outlet down the right flank.
In addition to his tenacity and his commitment, Florenzi can be a match-winner. His audacious goal against Barcelona showed that, at the highest level, he can make the difference. A man of the match performance against Norway in qualification, with goal and assist to boot, demonstrated that he is a man for all seasons. He has chipped in with a handy seven Serie A goals so far this season and this will have done his cause no harm as I Lupi march towards second place.
Euro 2016 will be Florenzi’s first big international competition. Not jaded by past failures like other compatriots, he will be itching to have a positive impact and brimming with confidence having been part of a club side with the ‘winning feeling.’
When Florenzi has played in qualification, Italy have collected maximum points. The Roma star did not, however, feature in every match. Dropping out of the side temporarily will spur him on and make him all the more hungry to keep hold of a starting shirt.
If Conte is to send out an Azzurri XI with dynamism and zest, hallmarks of any Conte side, then Florenzi has to start.
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