By now, you all probably know that Moise Kean is officially a member of the Italian national team. Not the Under-19 or the Azzurrini squad that he’s played with over the last six months, but amongst the big boys after getting called up by manager Roberto Mancini for Tuesday night’s friendly against the United States.
Regarding the game with the U.S., Mancini had this to say:
“Of course, there’s a long way to go and we are working, trying to renovate the Nazionale with young players and a different tactical approach. We need to get to know them better, to see them in action. Hopefully, many young players will get a chance to feature, as that’ll mean we’ve got a bright future ahead of us. I think there are many talented players out there, they just need to gain some experience.”
Sooooo ... “many young players will get a chance to feature.”
Sandro Tonali is the young player that everybody wants to see since he’s getting an insane amount of hype and comparisons to Andrea Pirlo right and left. (And not just because they look a little like each other.) But there just so happens to be the fact that 15 of the 22 players available to Mancini for the United States friendly are 24 years old or younger.
Tonali is the youngest, having turned 18 years old this past May.
The second-youngest player? Moise freakin’ Kean.
Of all the strikers currently on Italy’s roster for Tuesday night’s game, who has the most caps? That would be Federico Chiesa. He is 21 years old. He has 10 senior level appearances.
So what does that tell us?
I guess the easiest thing is that we can’t really rule Kean making an appearance out knowing that Mancini wants to get a look at the youngsters he has on his roster this week. And against a United States squad that is going through a youth movement in its own right, the possibility of Mancini experimenting and giving young players playing time pretty much means that Kean making an appearance has to be thrown out there.
Regardless of what kind of form Kean has been in with the U-19 and U-21 squads during the year, that’s something that I wouldn’t have thought possible just a couple of days ago. But hey, if Mancini wants to give the youngsters a legitimate run out, then who am I to object to it?