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Monday May 16 2016
Euro 2016 Squad Selector: Soriano

In the run-up to Euro 2016, Football Italia will be asking who Antonio Conte should select in his Italy squad. George Rinaldi gives the verdict on Roberto Soriano.

During what has been a truly horrendous season for Vincenzo Montella's Sampdoria, two players have stuck out from the rest: Eder and Roberto Soriano. The former moved to pastures new in the shape of Inter, but Soriano remains grounded and has to be a favourite to make the final 23-man squad in France.

Playing out most of his career thus far for the Blucerchiati, Soriano has been a key figure for both new Coach Montella and Azzurri boss Conte.

The rise has been a steady progress one could say, not hitting the heights many know him for until 2014, helping his club to a mid-table finish and also Europa League qualification the following campaign.

Soriano acts as a very versatile player, able to play as a second striker should he be needed to, but is usually more comfortable in an attacking midfield role or as centre-midfielder.

He was called up to the national side on November 2014 and continued his new found international playing days with seven appearances in 2015. Although he hasn't featured in 2016, Soriano brings a burst of pace and an eye for a through ball should Italy be trailing in one of their Group matches.

The 25-year-old has four assists so far this campaign alongside eight goals, making him Samp’s top scorer. With 21 shots on target he has over a one in three chance of finding the back of the net and also has a cosy 84 per cent pass accuracy rate.

Comparing this to his midfield compatriots such as Thiago Motta - 0 goals, Riccardo Montolivo - 0 goals and even Giacomo Bonaventura - six goals, he offers much more in terms of grabbing a goal as well as aiding his teammates. Only Motta out of the aforementioned players has a better passing accuracy of 92 per cent.

Despite these rather cosy statistics, it is hard to find a place for Soriano in Conte's starting XI. If the Coach elects for a 4-4-2, there is more chance Soriano would play alongside someone such as Claudio Marchisio, but with the latter's injury and comparing to a 3-5-2 or sometimes even a 3-4-3 style, there is little space for the Sampdoria playmaker.

His defensive duties are something he would have to work on, considering he is someone who is more likely to get forward than track back. This is why both Motta and Montolivo fit the position more, as they are more defence-minded. Bonaventura also offers play on the wing, something Soriano could master should he need to.

Overall there is no question that Soriano will make the final 23-man squad for Euro 2016, but in terms of wriggling his way into a starting position that remains to be seen.

Check out the rest of our Squad Selector blogs and have your say by clicking here.

Have your say...
If I were Conte, with all the injuries/out of form players in key areas of the pitch, tempted to select 5-6 of the most experienced older 30+ top players i.e.
1. Buffon
2. Pirlo
3. Totti
4. Barzagli
5. Motta

Then the 5-6 of the best young talent available i.e.
1. Berardi
2. Bernardeschi
3. Rugani
4. Romanogli
5. Donnarumma

Rest (13) would be best players available that are in form.
E.g. El Sharaawy, Candreva, Cheilini, Bonucci, Soriano, Insigne, Darmian, Bonaventura, Florenzi, Pelle...etc.
on the 23rd May, 2016 at 7:58am
We know the pattern = Bonucci will be our main playmaker, and we'll have to bypass midfield for someone like Insigne or El Shaarawy or Pelle. Shots may come in from De Rossi, Jorginho may pick up a second ball to drop a pass for an overlapping full back in the only creative move. The defense will have to save us and also most goals scored by defenders at set-pieces. If it works, fine.
on the 18th May, 2016 at 11:00am
I don't envy Conte when it comes to deciding what Midfielder's to include in the final 23 or more importantly in the starting 11. Without Verratti and Marchisio there's no players that are guaranteed a starting berth and I think whatever players Conte chooses, he won't please everyone and i think its a case of choosing the midfield to suit the opponents Italy are facing! Not all doom and gloom though as when expectations for Italy are low then they tend to perform!
on the 18th May, 2016 at 8:11am
Soriano,Giovinco,Bonaventura,Candreva,Bernardeschi n the younger Torino ones can create chances if given the chance? Insigne n El Sharaawy too. Potentially Italy have a decent side! It's just this year does seem to have been a miserable one for many Italian player's that have either struggled with injuries or failed to live up potential. This tourn may have come a bit too soon for some like Rugani,Berardi et all but Italy usually do well when there backs r against the wall, so there is hope.
on the 18th May, 2016 at 5:23am
don't know how this team can win anyways. Even against low-profile teams like Malta they struggled. the current midfielders and attackers would serve as subs if they were playing alongside Italy of the 90s or early years of 2000. Current Italy team lacks in every area, i only wished to have just one key player in every line (except in deference where i think they are not bad). With no player with qualities of Donadoni, Albertini, Pirlo, and now (Verati) how can they create a single goal chance?
on the 17th May, 2016 at 4:55pm
I am glad Conte got off, I suspected he was innocent all along. I know footballers are not supposed to be the most intelligent, but for a Juventi to get involved in match fixing, in any way would have been really stupid, wouldn't it?
on the 17th May, 2016 at 5:07am

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