Roberto Mancini is contemplating the exploration of additional options for the Italian team, following Mateo Retegui’s immediate influence, due to the dual-citizenship regulation.
Retegui, who was born in Argentina, made his first appearance for Italy in an international game on Thursday, and managed to score a goal, despite their loss to England by 2-1.
He continued his good form by scoring another goal in Italy’s 2-0 triumph over Malta in the Euro 2024 qualifying match, just three days later.
Mancini was criticized for choosing non-Italian players
Azzurri striker Mario Balotelli previously suggested that Mancini had sufficient attacking options to choose from within Italy, and the striker’s selection has since sparked a debate within the team.
Retegui’s early development has encouraged head coach Mancini, who has not ruled out the possibility of making similar moves in the future.
Mancini said: “Retegui is a goalscorer, it’s no small thing. It’s what we saw when we followed him. He still needs time, but he scores goals and it’s an important quality.
“He has the qualities of a centre-forward, but now we have to wait, we have to give him time. He’s like a student in a new school: he has to learn everything. But he has unlocked the game, that’s no small thing.
“Retegui in Serie A would be a good thing, I think this would give him more strength, he would be able to learn the language and consequently communicate better with his team-mates.”
Asked if he would consider more non-Italian players, Mancini said: “Yes, it’s a possibility. We have a small percentage of players in Serie A. In Switzerland, 15 out of 20 are natives.
“Belgium is the same. France, Germany, England are among the natives. Up until a certain number of years ago, we had strong players and we didn’t need to.
“The others have done things to us, often they’ve taken away players we’ve raised and we’ll do the same.”