Wednesday May 25 2016
Euro 2016 Squad Selector: Insigne

In the run-up to Euro 2016, Football Italia will be asking who Antonio Conte should select in his Italy squad. Vincent Van Genechten believes Lorenzo Insigne should be a no-brainer.

Lorenzo Insigne and the Azzurri, it hasn’t been a very happy marriage the past couple of years. The Napoli playmaker received just his first cap since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil during Italy’s friendly encounter with Spain in March.

Antonio Conte selected the 24-year-old on a couple of occasions during the qualification campaign for Euro 2016, but Insigne was left on the bench during the home encounter with Malta and left the squad with a minor knee injury before games against Azerbaijan and Norway in October.

That sparked a rift between Conte and Insigne, as the diminutive forward played for his club just days later, and Italy’s CT believes players should be proud to wear the Azzurri shirt. However, after a stunning performance against La Roja both men clarified the issue and stated that it was just a misunderstanding.

Fortunately, because Insigne should be one of Conte’s key players during the European Championships in France. His ability as a playmaker gives the Azzurri an added offensive dimension, one that was lacking at the 2014 World Cup.

Insigne has been one of Serie A’s best assists men, showcasing his creative talents in Napoli’s 4-3-3 formation. In a three-man attack, no Italian player can be more dangerous than Insigne. His vision, passing ability, dribbling skills, and speed are crucial if the Azzurri want to have any success in France.

He showed what he’s capable of in just 38 minutes of action against Spain, scoring Italy' s only goal of the game. Insigne was a constant threat, going wide or changing direction to the middle of the pitch. He’s capable of forcing things with just one killer moment, whoever’s playing with him upfront.

Of course, Insigne isn’t a perfect player. While the 24-year-old was amazing against La Roja, he was far from during the loss against Germany just a couple of days later. Insigne does suffer from inconsistency, even in games, being great for 30 minutes and poor the rest of the way. This is something that can’t be allowed to happen in a big tournament.

He’s also less effective in a two-man attack and can’t be deployed as midfield winger, as his defensive power is pretty inexistent. Insigne’s small posture also plays into this, as he’s easily pushed around on the pitch, especially by rugged defenders. However, this has proven to be an upside offensively, as he’s hard to catch and can easily draw fouls.

In the end, it’s easy to see Lorenzo Insigne should be given a call-up for Euro 2016 and start in a three-man Azzurri attack. He should be Italy’s X-factor during the tournament and the one player that could really make the difference on offence.

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

Have your say...
Dan Giambrone,

I fear Pirlo would have been too young and inexperienced in 2002. Fiore would have been my choice. But Albertini in midfield was excellent and we went out to Korea because of that, in my view. Great long ball passing ability, a thunderous right foot shot, etc.

Baggio would have been (and should have) the cherry on the cake. Why Delvecchio and Montella were there still baffles me. I even think Zola should have been on the bench!

Trap the Crapper!
on the 31st May, 2016 at 3:56pm
"why is conte not risking Monty and Motta? - they will break down in the first game at the Euros.." ..... totally agree with Forza Italia on this. And pray that what Giambrone last said is not true. It is for Conte now to disprove his critics !!! Some respite that Azzurri didnt draw or lose to Scotland. Now we'll have to wait and watch ..... what else .....
on the 30th May, 2016 at 6:01am
why is conte not risking Monty and Motta? - they will break down in the first game at the Euros.. Don't take both of them they're pace is too slow Jorghino's stats are better than theirs... DDR is better than both of them put together.
on the 29th May, 2016 at 10:09am
Looking at the current selection of strikers for the Euro's compared to the recent past is actually so bad it's funny.

The names on the squads roster were the likes of Signori,Baggio,ADP,Totti,Vieri and Inzaghi. In those days excellent players were being left out of the squad. Now , we are banking on the likes of Zaza,Immobile,Pelle to lead the line. These players aren't even guaranteed starters for their club sides.
on the 28th May, 2016 at 10:51pm
Colour me bonkers, but many of Conte's decisions are the kind that I'd expect from a saboteur - leaves out flair players, takes older or out of form players, & takes players that are extremely fragile and that won't last the tournament. It's almost as if he's doing everything that he can to compromise Italy's chances and get an early start at Chelsea. If Jorginho & Bonaventura don't go, I'll be even more incredulous.
on the 28th May, 2016 at 8:27pm
The mentality is stuck in the stone ages. Every other nation calls the youth when they prove their worth because if your good enough, your old enough. But Italy carry on calling up the same old dross every year, Monty is a joke. Now there's talk Jack will get left out, what?! He's been our best player this year and yet Monty might go ahead of him. We will be typically frustrating to watch, not score and then go out when we fail to get anything more than a draw. Pathetic squad selection Conte.
on the 28th May, 2016 at 4:14pm
What is Conte doing -waiting for Motta and Monty to prove their fitness what a joke send them home now.. They're a liability and will get an injury with 20 minutes of starting and Conte's plans go out the window. This squad sucks!! He should've looked more at the u21 sooner.. if we are out of the group then he'll face hell when at Chelsea. Italians in the UK won't let him forget.
on the 28th May, 2016 at 2:45pm
Dan you are spot on. The under 21s are far better to watch than the senior team. The reason is simple, because a lot of the under 21 team should be in the senior team now or at least in the squad. Pavoletti, lapadula, berardi, Rossi, Sapanora, Vazquez, Donnaruma, Spotiello, Tonelli, Romagnoli all have good seasons yet don't get called up. Conte is a fraud he said he would pick players based on form, yet he does the opposite. If the Figc had any balls after his squad selection they d sack him.
on the 28th May, 2016 at 1:46pm
Good points ForzaItalia! Why are we so cowardly/backward when it comes to fielding promising youngsters? Why must we wait until they are approx 23 before giving them regular first team football?We must be the only nation that's like this. I could perhaps understand if our senior players were doing the business, but they seldom do. It's so infuriating! I don't know about you guys, but I've enjoyed watching our under 21's a lot more than the Azzurri in recent years.
on the 28th May, 2016 at 10:42am
Giambrone the weakness in that team was the midfield Pirlo could have helped though a little green. The strikers chosen all had great years Vieri ADP Montella Totti Inzaghi. The only questionable selection was delvechio but at the time he was playing great with Totti who was dominating seria A. We can only dream that Italy would have that talent this year
on the 28th May, 2016 at 12:03am
Conte... Look at what England are doing with youth... Rashford taken his chances at Man U then called up for England scores on his debut and more than likely going to France after one good season.. Beradi has scored, assists for last couple of seasons and overlooked.. Conte shame on you!!! Monty bad season call him up ... Not good.
on the 27th May, 2016 at 9:00pm
I still feel anger about Baggio's omission from the 2002 WC squad. He recovered from a terrible injury in record time to demonstrate his worth and finished the season strongly. I was also annoyed that Pirlo wasn't considered. He was 23 at the time, and if I can recall correctly, was playing really well with Baggio at Brescia. That, and our CM was desperately lacking some creativity & composure. I remember Mexico really schooling us in that department in the final group game.
on the 27th May, 2016 at 7:57pm
Anonymous, I didn't have a problem with the 352, just the line up. As for Juve playing with a back 4, they did fine with it last season. I'd chalk up the defeat to Bayern to Juve losing the likes of Chiellini & Marchisio, switching systems with little preparation time, & that Bayern are, by far, the best team that Juve faced last season. Let's not forget that Bayern destroyed Conte's (352) Juve a few seasons ago.
on the 27th May, 2016 at 7:51pm
"It angers me greatly even now that Trap didn't take Baggio in 2002." Me too! Bigger problem that summer was that we lost Albertini in midfield to injury. That killed us. But rumour was Totti did NOT want Roby there! Friend from UEFA told me that summer reason FIFA came down hard on us was because there was no Baggio! He's a Buddhist, and he's huge in the Far East, so lots of less money for FIFA tv w/o him. Just a rumour. We have nobody today like those players.
on the 27th May, 2016 at 6:33pm
Well, Jenks is back, and he has a few things to say. Couldn't resist it.

Oh, now the Euros. I think we'll be HOME by the second game. Very low technical squad. Compared to Spain, France, Germany, we are quite mediocre.

Pirlo and Gioiv as reserves SHOULD be there. In critical moments, we'll need them. Even if defense is 'solid', midfield will have problems w/o Verratti and Marchisio.

Our strikers are VERY ordinary (No Pepito Rossi?!)

God help us
on the 27th May, 2016 at 6:20pm
I still think this is the best side all things considered:

De Rossi
Candreva Jorghino Florenzi Darmian
El Sha

The defense and midfield is pretty solid, it just the bloody strikers that look a bit duff.
on the 27th May, 2016 at 1:40pm
I can maybe forgive Conte for taking 1 donkey to France...but 2???!!! Monty & Motta?!
on the 27th May, 2016 at 1:26pm
Azzurri: Motta, Monto ok --- NO... Conte wake up and pick youth...
on the 27th May, 2016 at 11:01am
I disagree with Dan Giambrone, the friendly formation wasn't bad at all considering the players at Conte's disposal. I would change Giaccherini for Jorginho and Eder for SES or Insignie but other than that it looks good. 4-3-3 would not work as you'd be changing the formation that BBC are used to and look what happened when Juve were forced to do that against Bayern, they conceded 6 goals in 2 games. 3-5-2 makes us much more solid defensively and thats the basis we need to start from.
on the 27th May, 2016 at 9:59am
Conte's starting 11 in today's friendly: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Candreva, De Rossi, Florenzi, Giaccherini, Darmian; Pellè, Eder. I don't know about you guys but I find this bloody awful. I'd go with a 433: Buffon; Darmian, Bonucci, Chiellini, MDS; Jorginho, DDR, Candreva; Insigne, Zaza, Bonaventura.
on the 26th May, 2016 at 7:49pm
managers with guts and vision; Allegri. Conte is fake! he lacks understanding of today's football. I do not see a successful campaign for Italy in euro'16, not with a coach like Conte, if it was Allegri the story would of been different. I am very much eager to see what kind of formation Conte will use?
on the 26th May, 2016 at 7:02pm
hey guys I liked Capello's option: formation 9-1! I believe it is a safe option to play defense rather than get humiliated! from what it looks like, Italy will leave the euro'16 from the group stage! midfield weak + incompetent strikers! Conte's plan to play "die hard" attitude while in today's football it is all about talent & speed which Italy lacks.
on the 26th May, 2016 at 6:53pm
Dio Mio - please send Motta and Montolivo a casa!
on the 26th May, 2016 at 3:59pm
The sad reality is that Conte is not alone in not taking our best players, we have a history of our national team managers not taking our best players. It angers me greatly even now that Trap didn't take Baggio in 2002. If Conte has taken the best players I think we could have got to QF maybe even SF now in all likelihood it will be a first round exit.
on the 26th May, 2016 at 11:11am
In response to "forza italia" I couldn't agree more if we end up losing Lapadula it will be a major mistake. He has scored 27 goals and 11 assists in 40 games, so what if its Serie B, I would bet that had he played in Serie A this season he would have also scored a fair few goals definitely a lot more than the crap Conte is taking. Lapadula, Pavoletti, Pelle, Insigne, Rossi, Giovinco would have been my 6 strikers. In response to Dan Giambrone I again couldn't agree more. Shame Conte decides.
on the 26th May, 2016 at 11:07am
I like Conte. The best coach in the tournament. He can make a good suit out of poor cloth. Italy is lacking talent no doubt. Insigne... a real talent...the only direct attacking player we got. Go get them lads. FORZA AZURI !!!
on the 26th May, 2016 at 10:05am
As much as Insigne can annoy the hell out of me with his erratic end product, I'd still take him. I'm gutted that Giovinco isn't going. He showed more magic in his cameo against Norway, than the rest of the squad (aside from Verratti) during the qualifying campaign. It has to be a 433/353 for these players. We need a dynamic central midfielder to complement the relatively slow/static Motta/DDR/Monty/Jorginho who all like to sit back. Maybe Candreva or Florenzi can do that job.
on the 26th May, 2016 at 9:27am
We need to secure "Gianluca Lapadula" Italian status get him playing for us not Peru!!!!! Why wasn't he called up at least...? Insigne defo needs to be there.
on the 26th May, 2016 at 8:51am
i think 4-3-3 is the way to go as it best fits the way we play and makes use of our creative talents out wide. i would like to see how this team does v scotland.

buffon, darmian, bonucci, barzagli, de sciglio, benassi, jorginho, florenzi, insigne, pelle, candreva.
on the 26th May, 2016 at 6:26am
@Anonymous (the other one)

Agreed. If Insigne doesn't show up we will be 3 and out this tournament.
on the 26th May, 2016 at 2:44am

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