Manuel Locatelli is aiming for a return to the Italian national team after being left out of Mancini’s squad for this month’s fixtures against England and Malta
Manuel Locatelli believes that he was not included in Italy’s latest squad due to technical reasons, and he is now determined to make a comeback to the team.
Locatelli was not selected by coach Roberto Mancini for Italy’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against England and Malta this week.
Manuel Locatelli expresses his sadness over Italy omission
Locatelli, who was a part of Italy’s squad that defeated England in the Euro 2020 final, last played for the national team in June against England again.
However, he did not receive any communication from the national team coach regarding his exclusion from the squad.
“I was sad about not being called up to the national team,” he told Rai Sport. “I’m being honest. I didn’t hear from Mancini.”
Manuel Locatelli was not included in Italy’s squads for September and October due to injury and personal reasons, respectively.
When asked if he thought his exclusion was a form of punishment, the midfielder dismissed the suggestion. He instead believed it was based on Roberto Mancini’s tactical preference.
“[Was it for] disciplinary reasons? Absolutely not,” he added. “I think it was a technical choice. I’ll work harder on the pitch to get back there.”
Italy will play against England in Naples on Thursday, followed by a match against Malta three days later. These are their first matches since playing two friendlies in November.
After missing out on qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Azzurri will be eager to secure a place in Euro 2024 to defend their title.