Recently Antonio Conte came out and said that he’s got a pretty good picture of which players he will take to France.
The Azzurri chief said there are about 16 players that he knows will be in France come June, which leaves 7 spots open for players to impress the Italy boss.
Today, we discuss which 7 players Conte should include in his Euro 2016 roster and also a possible alternation he should make within his 16 certainties.
As reported by Sky Italia, here are the 16 players that Conte has decided will be on the squad:
GK: Buffon, Sirigu, Perin
DEF: Bouncci, Barzagli, Chiellini, Darmian
MID: Florenzi, Verratti, Marchisio, Candreva, Parolo, Giaccherini
ATT: Pelle, Zaza, El Shaarawy
Now to the players who deserve to be given one of the final 7 spots..
The Milan defender is enjoying a good season and has proved to be worthy of wearing the Italy shirt in France come June. In the latest International break, we saw Conte call up defenders like Ranocchia, Astori and Acerbi, clearly those are not the defenders one would want at the Euro. Romagnoli is one of, if not the best young Italian defender and he’s been in a fantastic form this season. Worthy of a Euro 2016 call up and with many of the other options being average players, there’s no logical reason why he shouldn’t be there.
Mattia De Sciglio
Italy’s lack of top full backs is actually very concerning. In the 16 Conte has picked so far, there is only one proper full back, Darmian (there’s Florenzi, but he’s a natural midfielder). It’s looking like Conte will go with a 3 man back line so full backs won’t be needed too much, but you do need other options and that’s what De Scigilo will bring. He can play both on the left side and right side and can also play wing back in a 3 man backline. Mattia will be able to offer Conte some flexibility, which is always needed in these type of tournaments.
It’s really hard to argue against Jack. He’s been outstanding for Milan this season and has really taken his game to the next level. As we saw in the match vs Germany and even at times vs Spain, sometimes this Italy setup lacks creativity in the midfield and he’s someone that along with let’s say Marco Verratti, could create multiple chances for the attackers. His versatility can also help out. Having someone who can do multiple different things is such an advantage in a World Cup/Euro. He’s proven he can be a game changer and there’s a high chance he will be in France.
Jorginho picking to play for Italy over Brazil is a huge gain for Nazionale. He’s been outstanding for Napoli this season. As guys like Higuain get the praise, it’s Jorginho who has done the dirty work in the midfield and has been extremely important to the success of Sarri’s side this season. It’s unlikely Jorginho would be a starter but he would provide as a perfect vice Marchisio. He’s also much better than fellow midfielders like Motta and Montolivo. Antonio Conte in his most recent fixtures gave the midfielder the call, something he’s deserved for a long time and something he deserves when Conte is making the list for his Euro 2016 squad.
CHANGE: Take out Giaccherini, put in Daniele De Rossi.
For the most part, Conte’s 16 certainties are good and fair picks and here’s the only alteration that needs to take place. Daniele De Rossi needs to be in France. His fitness problems have held him back recently but if De Rossi is fit going into Euro 2016 there is no reason why he should be at home with Giaccherini in France. In these competitions you need your best and most experienced players and vice-captain has been one of Italy’s leaders for years now. De Rossi will be important to the midfield but he can even offer Conte another option in defense if it’s needed.
Do we even need to explain this pick? It’s mind blowing that Insigne isn’t being considered a certainty at this point. The other day Buffon praised him saying he is the future of Italian football and there’s a reason why the captain said that, it’s because this guy is. As shown in the match vs Spain, Insigne lifts this Italian side up and can change the game for them. It’s likely Insigne will be on the team, but if he isn’t, it’ll be a fraud that the little man from Napoli is left at home.
In the 16 we see two #9’s and that’s Pelle and Zaza. Nothing against either, who are both good and as we speak worthy options but Conte will need one more ‘Prima Punta’ and that’s Immobile. Since his return to Torino, Immobile has gotten back to scoring goals and an Immobile who is scoring goals should always be on the national team. In terms of natural talent and form he is probably Italy’s best option for the striker position. It’s possible that he actually will crack into the XI ahead of Pelle and Zaza come Euro time.
The young Italian is one of Italy’s hottest prospects and is one of Italy’s top attackers. For the last couple years he’s been tearing it up in Serie A and his call up to the senior side has been a long time coming for him. He’s really been a leader for Sassuolo and Italy really could use a right winger with a left foot who cuts in. His eye for goal as a winger is incredible and is something Italy can definitely use come tournament time. Candreva is the current winger on the right side but having the option of going to someone who can cut in with his left foot would be nice.
Honorable Mention: Leaving Sebastian Giovinco at home could also be a mistake. He’s someone who deserves a spot and he might be able to crack the squad over guys like Berardi, Zaza and Pelle.
These are the players Conte should pick with those 7 spots while also making an alternation with Giaccherini and De Rossi.