Mancini praises starlet Gnonto and suggests changes are coming

Roberto Mancini expects to make a few changes for Italy’s Nations League clash against Hungary and suggested that pressure is kept off young talent Wilfried Gnonto.

The Azzurri are coming off their 1-1 draw with Germany on Saturday, a game that gave fans some hope following the painful 3-0 Finalissima loss to Argentina last week, and they’re looking to follow that up with a strong win against Hungary. Marco Rossi’s side took a full three points from England, so they’ll be confident of picking up something against the Azzurri tomorrow.

Speaking in a press conference, Mancini first suggested that some changes to the squad would be made in tomorrow’s game.

“Some changes will be there for sure. I don’t think all, but many.”

He touched on if Manuel Locatelli could play the same role that Bryan Cristante did against Germany.

“Locatelli can be adapted in that role, but Bryan together with Esposito are the only ones in this squad who can play as a playmaker.”

The Italian coach commented on if a new playing style would be adopted by the Azzurri now.

“You can win in any way, there is no particular recipe. With any system you can win, against Germany in the last 20 minutes we couldn’t catch them out because they weren’t bad, it seemed to me.

“Then the game afterwards was totally balanced. They were all new players, it’s clear that it takes a little time.”

The former Inter and Manchester City coach spoke about the qualities of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

“Gigio for me remains the best goalkeeper in Europe. He suffers a little more than the others when he rotates.

“He has this little problem, we’ll evaluate it tomorrow morning. If he feels like playing and wants to play, he’ll play. There are several left in the squad, even Belotti for example who I told to go and rest.”

He commented on the movement of striker Gianluca Scamacca.

“He has everything to become a very, very good centre forward, he is fast, powerful and technical. He can improve in the break, even if he is tall.

“However, he’s just back from his first season as a starter in Serie A, it will take a little more time but he can really become a great striker.”

Mancini discussed teenage talent Gnonto and what advice he’d give him.

“He is a boy, he is 18 years old and he should not be put under too much pressure. He has to grow quietly. For his age, he knows how to play football like few other players and is very fast.

“If he grows calmly, without too much pressure on him, he can show his important qualities and he is an intelligent boy, he can grow. His best role is second striker, but he can also play on the wing.”

The Azzurri coach touched on his relationship with Hungary coach Marco Rossi.

“Marco was a teammate of mine. In fact, I think I got him at Sampdoria! He is a good guy and a very good coach, thanks to him Hungary has improved a lot and he is doing an extraordinary job.

“Hungary beat England with merit, they drew against France and Germany at the European Championship. They are a difficult team to face, they are very physical and have important qualities in attack.”

He spoke about his plans to overcome Hungary’s tough defence.

“As I said before, it won’t be easy. We will try to do our best to succeed, they have tall and very strong centre-backs and then Hungary is playing very good football. It won’t be an easy match, also because easy matches don’t exist anymore.”

Finally, Mancini discussed the possibility of seeing young players in the starting lineup tomorrow.

“If they are in the 23-man squad, yes. It’s not a problem to play rookies and test them in difficult matches.”

4 Comments on “Mancini praises starlet Gnonto and suggests changes are coming”

  1. This kid is a special player with highly rated skills. He works very hard and is perfect for the auzzurri. He’s also a very humble and intelligent.
    He’s a good boy and I’m very happy to see him on this team 👍

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