Mancini drops Italy's young guns Kean and Zaniolo for ill-discipline
Roberto Mancini has dropped Moise Kean and Nicolo Zaniolo from his Italy squad picked to face Armenia and Finland in Euro 2020 qualifying, punishing the starlets for their behaviour during the Under-21 European Championships.
Roma's exciting midfielder Zaniolo, 20, and Everton's new 19-year-old signing Kean were selected by Mancini last season after bursting onto the scene with a series of impressive of displays in Serie A.
However they were dropped for Italy's last group game during the summer's Under-21 tournament, held in their home country, after arriving late for a video session and, as predicted by Italian media, Mancini has decided to extend the punishment to the upcoming senior matches.
The 'Azzurri', three points clear at top of Group J after winning all four of their matches so far, travel to Armenia on Thursday before taking on second-placed Finland away three days later.
Full-back Luca Pellegrini, loaned to Cagliari after being bought by Juventus from Roma this summer, is the only new face in the squad.
Meanwhile Mario Balotelli, newly of hometown team Brescia, has not been selected as he serves a four-match suspension for a red card he picked up with Marseille at the end of last season.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Pierluigi Gollini (Atalanta), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino)
Defenders: Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio (all Juventus), Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea/ENG), Alessandro Florenzi, Gianluca Mancini (both Roma), Armando Izzo (Torino), Luca Pellegrini (Cagliari), Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan)
Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan), Bryan Cristante, Lorenzo Pellegrini (both Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea/ENG), Stefano Sensi (Inter Milan), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)
Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Shanghai Shenhua/CHN), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Kevin Lasagna (Udinese)
© 2019 AFP