Alessandro Florenzi’s versatility and experience will be handy for Roberto Mancini at Euro 2020 where the Roma loanee will have something to prove to José Mourinho as well, writes Michele Bonsu.
Back in 2019, Alessandro Florenzi was named Roma captain following the departure of Daniele De Rossi, who himself had taken the armband from the hands of the legendary Francesco Totti.
So, it’s fair to say that no one could’ve foreseen that less than two years later he’d end up playing for two different clubs – first Valencia, and then PSG.
However, with the 2020-21 campaign coming to an end, it seems that the Ligue 1 giants won’t make his move permanent and that Florenzi will return to the Stadio Olimpico. Perhaps, taking his captain armband back.
In fact, his departure from the Stadio Olimpico can’t be placed firmly on the player’s shoulders, as then-coach Paulo Fonseca readily made it clear that there was no room for Florenzi in his plans.
Notably, he featured intermittently in his preferred starting XI during the first half of the 2019-2020 season before the Italian wingback moved to Valencia on loan.
Despite being cast out by his boyhood club, and quite disappointingly considering he battled his way back to full fitness after a career-threatening ACL injury, Florenzi has enjoyed more appreciation at the national level.
Indeed, he’s a player who has been a part of the Azzurri set-up for nearly a decade. From his first call-up under Cesare Prandelli in 2012, to playing at the 2016 European Championship under Antonio Conte, what has helped the 30-year-old consistently carve out a place for himself in a rather congested Azzurri squad is his versatility.
Although nominally listed as a right-back, Florenzi has been deployed as a midfielder in a range of positions and a winger where he can get involved in offensive play thanks to his pace and solid crossing ability.
Heading into his second European Championship, this versatility will come in handy for Mancini as Italy seek to make a significant splash at the last iteration of the quadrennial competition this summer.