Italy Coach Roberto Mancini believes Moise Kean is “destined for greatness” in hisyoung Azzurri squad facing Finlandin tonight’s Euro 2020 qualifier.
It kicks off in Udine at 19.45 GMT, in the same group as Armenia, Bosnia and Liechtenstein.
With Federico Chiesa, Lorenzo Insigne and Alessandro Florenzi out injured, Juventus teenager Kean is expected to get his first start.
“I think Kean is destined for greatness. He is a player with a lot of quality, is improving all the time and I believe can become a very important player,” Mancini told Rai Sport.
Born in February 2000, he’ll also become the first player from the new Millennium to start in an Italy jersey.
“Kean has always done well and has immense potential, but let’s also not forget he is still only 19 years old, so we can’t expect too much of him. There are going to be errors, but I maintain we are on the right path.
“I generally focused on slightly younger players so they can build the future of this Nazionale. Obviously, we also need more experienced figures who know how to guide the youngsters, because enthusiasm and desire are great, but experience does count in these situations.
“The likes of Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Jorginho and Marco Verratti can really help these lads to mature.”
Mattia Perin has also pulled out with an injury in the last training session, while Bryan Cristante of Roma, Torino defender Armando Izzo and Udinese striker Kevin Lasagna are sent to the stands.
Italy (4-3-3):G Donnarumma; Piccini, Bonucci, Chiellini, Biraghi; Verratti, Jorginho, Barella; Bernardeschi, Immobile, Kean
Finland (4-4-2):Hradecky; Granlund, Toivio, Arajuuri, Pirinen; Lod, Schuller, Sparv, Soiri; Pukki, Lappalainen
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