The 2020 European Championship commences on June 11, 2021 with Italy hosting Turkey in the opening match and Azzurri coach Roberto Mancini had named his 26-man squad for the upcoming tournament on Tuesday.
There were many players that played fundamental roles during the qualifying campaign and have become mainstays of Mancini’s squad, but there were a few selections that left Italian fans perplexed.
Whether it be players out of form being included in the Italy squad at the expense of those with better seasons behind them or footballers being obscure fits for the team, there have been some choices that have clearly divided opinions.
Here are five players that Mancini should have picked for Italy at EURO 2020.
3. Davide Calabria
AC Milan qualified for the Champions League for the first time since 2013/14 and Calabria was one of the unsung heroes of the campaign. The once-maligned defender has developed into a right-back capable of defending as well as pushing forward with great skill.
The 24-year-old had his best season for I Rossoneri, making 32 appearances in Serie A, and he also made the most tackles in the league, averaging 3.2 per game.
With the likes of Alessandro Florenzi and Giovanni Di Lorenzo being better known for their ability to attack from defence, especially the former, Calabria would have offered great defensive solidarity.
4. Federico Dimarco
Although he came through the Inter youth system as a full-back, Dimarco has developed into an excellent left wing-back at Hellas Verona. The 23-year-old found the back of the net five times and provided three assists in 35 Serie A matches in 2020/21, and he also had the second-best average for crosses with 2.1 per game.
Perhaps Mancini’s usage of the 4-3-3 formation might have counted against Dimarco but the Inter-owned defender has also played as a left centre-back for the Gialloblu as well.
If you consider that Emerson Palmieri made just 15 competitive appearances for Chelsea this season and that Leonardo Spinazzola is injury-prone, Dimarco would have been worthy of a maiden Italy call-up based on fitness as well as form.
5. Tommaso Augello
The Sampdoria left-back is an unknown quantity but he has emerged as another late bloomer over the last seasons with Il Doria. After climbing his way up the divisions, the 26-year-old has demonstrated that he is not overwhelmed by playing in Serie A. He played 37 times in 2020/21, scoring once and providing three assists.
Like Dimarco at Hellas Verona, he is a competent crosser, and he has the fitness and form to have merited selection for the Italian national team despite playing for a midtable club.