Nicolato hails Tonali after Italy close call

Italy Under-21 coach Paolo Nicolato warns the Azzurrini not to take Bosnia and Herzegovina for granted, while praising Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali after a close call with the senior squad.

The opening European Under-21 Championship qualifier for this break is away to Bosnia on Friday October 8, then they host Sweden in Monza on Tuesday October 12.

“The first game will be very difficult,” said Nicolato in his press conference.

“We’ll be away from home against a very solid and tough Bosnian side, who drew with Sweden and did not deserve their defeat to Ireland.

“It’s going to be more complicated because it is the first of two, played in a tricky atmosphere. We’ll have to wait before thinking about Sweden, who on paper are our main challengers for first place in the group, because we cannot relax against Bosnia.”

Tonali was suggested as a possible call-up for the senior Italy squad in the Nations League against Spain after Matteo Pessina’s injury, but Inter wingback Federico Dimarco was chosen instead.

“I have no doubts on this lad,” added Nicolato.

“The first time he wore the Azzurri jersey with me was with the Under-18 side, so I’ve known him for a long time.

“I want to compliment Sandro, because having been in the senior Italy squad and experienced that atmosphere, he had no problems returning to the Under-21 side. It’s not easy on an emotional level and cannot be taken for granted.”

Italy Under-21 squad

GK: Semuel Pizzignacco (Vicenza), Alessandro Russo (Alessandria), Stefano Turati (Reggina).

D: Raoul Bellanova (Cagliari), Riccardo Calafiori (Roma), Andrea Cambiaso (Genoa), Simone Canestrelli (Crotone), Andrea Carboni (Cagliari), Gabriele Ferrarini (Perugia), Matteo Lovato (Atalanta), Kaleb Okoli (Cremonese), Lorenzo Pirola (Monza), Iyenoma Destiny Udogie (Udinese).

M: Marco Brescianini (Monza), Salvatore Esposito (Spal), Nicolò Fagioli (Cremonese), Filippo Ranocchia (Vicenza), Samuele Ricci (Empoli), Nicolò Rovella (Genoa), Sandro Tonali (Milan).

F: Matteo Cancellieri (Hellas Verona), Lorenzo Colombo (Spal), Sebastiano Esposito (Basel), Lorenzo Lucca (Pisa), Samuele Mulattieri (Crotone), Roberto Piccoli (Atalanta), Emanuel Vignato (Bologna).

One Comment on “Nicolato hails Tonali after Italy close call”

  1. It would be cool if the squad lists included the motherclubs of the players who are on loan. It would make the U-21 articles more exciting for those of us who like following the youngsters coming up and through the ranks.

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