The meteoric rise for Juventus starlet Moise Kean isn’t slowing down.
Italy manager Roberto Mancini confirmed at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Azzurri’s UEFA Nations League game against Portugal this weekend that Kean will be added to the roster for next week’s friendly against the United States. Italy has already seen Kean’s Juventus teammate Federico Bernardeschi head back to Turin due to injury, which is a huge blow considering he had started both of the Azzurri’s previous two Nations League games.
“Two players from the Under-21s will arrive, (Moise) Kean and (Gianluca) Mancini,” Mancini said at Friday’s press conference. “They’ll be joined by [Francesco] Acerbi, who is in the squad because of Romagnoli’s problem.”
Kean has been on absolute fire since being one of Italy’s best players at the Under-19 European Championships this past summer. He went from not starting to open the tournament to scoring a pair of goals in the final against Portugal, a game Italy lost 4-3.
That form on the international stage has carried right on into the fall months.
Playing with Italy’s Under-21 side, Kean has scored twice in three games with the Azzurrini, including a rather powerful header in Thursday’s match against England.
When you factor in that Kean has been able to keep that kind of form for his country while barely playing at all for his current club, it’s pretty damn impressive. (It’s a total of about 12 minutes that came in one appearance in a Champions League group stage fixture against Young Boys on Oct. 2, by the way.)
Who knows if we will actually see Kean play against the United States on Tuesday. Mancini has obviously shown that he isn’t afraid to give younger players a shot since he became manager back in May. His starting goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, is all of 19 years old and hasn’t looked in jeopardy of losing the job even though his form has been somewhat shaky this season. Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella, all of 21 years old, has become a regular starter in recent fixtures. Same goes for Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Insigne in attack.
Where Kean fits in is obviously going to be something that develops over the next handful of months and probably years. The Italian media — especially Tuttosport — is abuzz with the 18-year-old Kean getting his first senior-level call-up. And rightfully so. It’s a big deal, and we should all be happy that Juventus have Kean under contract.