Roberto Mancini has confirmed that Everton’s summer signing Moise Kean has been omitted from the Italy squad to face Armenia and Finland in Euro 2020 qualifiers as punishment for his off-field behaviour.
Kean and fellow Italy prospect Nicolo Zaniolo have both been left out of the Gli Azzurri roster for the upcoming qualifying ties, as Mancini feels his players must consistently act as professionals whether on the field or off it.
Zaniolo and Kean were heavily criticised earlier in the summer while on international duty with Italy’s Under-21s for repeatedly breaking team-imposed rules on discipline (BeSoccer), with reports of the pair frequently arriving late for training and a team meeting ahead of crucial European U21 Championship fixtures.
Then-Juventus forward Kean was benched by former U21s boss Luigi Di Biagio as La Nazionale’s youngsters beat Belgium 3-1, and will again play for the youth side after the Vercelli-born hitman was called up to Paolo Nicolato’s first squad for their September internationals (Football-Italia).
Mancini has now addressed why he chose to omit Kean from the senior squad, having awarded the 19-year-old his full international debut last November (TransferMarkt) in a friendly away to the United States.
“They didn’t do anything too serious, but it will help them for the future, to know how to behave when they’re away from home for 40 days,” the former Manchester City manager said of Kean and Zaniolo, as quoted by the Associated Press.
As well as making his international debut under Mancini, Kean became the youngest player to score for Italy since 1958 when he struck the second goal as Gli Azzurri beat Finland 2-0 in March.
He has now been handed a learning opportunity by the former Manchester City head coach, though, and Everton and the striker can benefit from his decision, providing Kean sees it as a learning opportunity.
Marco Silva will soon be relying on the Italian prospect to be a star for the Toffees having agreed to pay up to £27.5m (BBC) for his services in the summer, and will not want to see the investment wasted as the Blues have struggled to find a clinical forward option since parting ways with Romelu Lukaku.
Oumar Niasse has been nothing more than a bit-part player making infrequent appearances, and has scored nine goals in 39 games (TransferMarkt) since joining the Merseyside club from Hull City. Cenk Tosun also has nine goals but from 44 games, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin has 17 in 98 since his debut in 2016, and most horrendously Sandro Ramirez, who scored once in 16 games, and is still waiting for his latest strike having failed to break the goal line during loan spells with Sevilla, Real Sociedad and currently with Real Valladolid.
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