Mancini defends Immobile despite choosing Locatelli

Sat 04 September 2021 | 20:00

Italy boss is confident about Immobile but decides to use Locatelli.

Italy boss

Roberto Mancini

has defended

Ciro Immobile

but says that he is going to use Manuel Locatelli in their clash against Switzerland in the World Cup qualifying.

“Locatelli might not have 90 minutes in his legs, but can play 60-70 minutes at a high level, certainly,”

Mancini told RAI Sport


Marco Verrati may be unavailable for his side following the injury that he sustained during their 1-1 draw against Bulgaria, so Locatelli is going to have a tough job because he hasn’t played this season.

Mancini defends immobile with a joke about his name, which in English translates to a moving thing.

“Immobile as a center-forward is not, well, immobile… He moves around a lot, he runs and battles for the team. He’s just been a bit more unlucky at international level than when playing for Lazio, but that can happen. After all, there’s less pressure at club level.

“We still won the European Championship with him playing, you know. We’ll see how he’s doing in terms of fitness tomorrow morning and then decide, as we have a few different alternatives.”  

The player has scored 15 goals for his national team in 53 games, but he hasn’t been able to find the net in his last five games.

And another player who is in doubt for the Italians is Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo, who has just recovered from an injury, and Mancini thinks that he can be available.

“I think Zaniolo can be important tomorrow and in future. He has enormous quality, is young and needs to play, but he is someone who can make the difference.”

source: SportMob

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