Stefano Sensi had been included in Italy’s 26-man squad list, but a new muscle injury forced Roberto Mancini to rule the Inter midfielder out of Euro 2020, writes Richard Hall.
Sensi would have been a superb addition to the Azzurri to add the passing range and creativity needed by Italy’s midfield. The problem with the former Sassuolo man was whether or not he could have stayed stay fit for the tournament. Unluckily, Mancio received an early answer to that.
Sensi had to be ruled out of the Azzurri squad after just a couple of training sessions at Coverciano with Matteo Pessina coming in to replace the Inter midfielder.
Coaches will often take a risk on one player in a position who is coming back from injury, or has a habit of picking them up at inopportune times. But the problem with Sensi was that he was not the only one fighting to be fit for Euro 2020. His presence at the European Championship was massively in doubt also because Marco Verratti was suffering from a knee injury, and may have not been ready for the first two games of the tournament.
Sensi man was devastated when in the final game of the season against Udinese he picked up an injury to his right thigh and had to be withdrawn before half time. It was thought he would need a week-and-a-half to recover, which did not leave much of a window to be fit for the tournament. The bigger issue, though, was that that was not his first injury of the season, as the 25-year-old missed 10 games in 45 days. His injuries were muscular problems, muscular fatigue and an issue with his abductor’s muscle. That last one seems to be a recurring concern.
Sensi would have had a lot to offer. He could play as a defensive or creative midfielder and due to his range of passing, he has been compared to both Xavi Hernandez and Andrea Pirlo. So versatile is Sensi, that over the years he has been deployed as a winger, a mezzala and as a supporting forward and despite his smaller stature, he is robust on the pitch and carries great tactical intelligence.
Picking Sensi was a gamble, but it didn’t last long. He could have been a game-changer for Mancini and the Azzurri, but the 25-year-old will be forced to watch the Euros from the sidelines.