The likelihood of Lorenzo De Silvestri playing in the Euros this summer doesn’t solely depend on his performances in the run-up to the finals, but how daring Azzurri Coach Antonio Conte wants to be.
The Sampdoria player made two substitute appearances in the recent friendly matches against Spain and Germany. He only took the field in the 89th minute in Udine against the Spaniards, replacing Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi, but was given 30 minutes against Germany in Munich.
The 27-year-old, who earned his sixth Azzurri cap on the night, put in a disappointing performance in the 4-1 humbling by the World Champions.
Though far from the only player at fault in the team’s dispiriting performance, De Silvestri looked a little out of his depth in coping with the sharp interplay from the German forwards.
It would seem Coach Conte is still looking at his bench options and formations, as it is hard to see past the likes of Milan’s Mattia De Sciglio or Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian.
Conte has looked to convert Florenzi from his attacking midfielder role at Roma, with De Silvestri seemingly still behind him in the pecking order as a more defensive option.
But what the hard-working Samp player does bring is versatility, as he can play in both a full-back and his current wing-back role for the Blucerchiati.
Conte has also trusted him in a big game. He started Italy’s qualifier in Croatia back in June 2015. Unfortunately he was stretchered off the pitch in the first half of the match after he suffered an injury to both his anterior cruciate ligament and the external meniscus. As a result, his first Serie A start for La Doria was in November and he has only made 12 league appearances so far in this season.
An extra part of his game has also been missing since his return from injury. Last season, De Silvestri chipped in with four goals, but so far he has yet to find the net in the current campaign.
Looking at his stats in Serie A, he is one of the hardest-working players in the Samp side, running the second highest average distance per game behind midfielder Fernando.
But will this be enough to earn him a squad berth? If he is only making Azzurri substitute appearances behind a converted midfielder, it would seem De Silvestri still has some to ground to make up before he will be seen making the starting XI in France this summer, but is a precious figure to have at a tough tournament.
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