Atalanta goals help Scamacca into Italy’s provisional squad for Euro 2024

Striker Gianluca Scamacca named in provisional Italy squad for Euro 2024 after firing Atalanta to Europa League glory.

Gianluca Scamacca
Atalanta's Gianluca Scamacca celebrates with the trophy after winning football's Europa League Final [Paul Childs/Reuters]

Gianluca Scamacca has played his way into Italy’s provisional squad for Euro 2024 after a phenomenal end to the season, as coach Luciano Spalletti announced on Thursday his squad for the tournament in Germany.

Striker Scamacca was picked by Spalletti after scoring 11 goals and setting up four more in all competitions since the start of March, helping fire Atalanta to their historic Europa League triumph on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old had been dropped for Italy’s March friendlies with Venezuela and Ecuador by Spalletti, who railed against footballers “playing on the PlayStation until four in the morning”, a comment widely interpreted as being directed at Scamacca.

Spalletti has selected the in-form Scamacca in an attempt to resolve Italy’s long-standing problem of finding reliable strikers.

Inconsistent Ciro Immobile – one of the pivotal figures in Italy’s Euro triumph three years ago – has been dropped. Should Scamacca lead the line for Italy, he will play alongside Juventus star Federico Chiesa, whose teammate Nicolo Fagioli is a surprise inclusion among the midfielders after missing almost the entire season.

Fagioli made his first Juventus appearance since October on Monday following his seven-month ban for gambling on football matches. The betting scandal cost Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali his place on the plane for the Euro, which starts on June 14.

Youth to the fore as Italy target glory in Germany at Euro 2024

Fagioli is one of a number of younger players who have replaced veterans of the last Euro victory like former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, who moved to Al-Arabi in Qatar last summer. Verratti has never been called up by Spalletti since he replaced Roberto Mancini in August last year.

Manuel Locatelli earned himself a move to Juventus from Sassuolo by impressing at the last Euro, but was also dropped by Spalletti, the midfielder expressing his dismay by posting a black screen on Instagram.

Other players who are big names from three years ago when Italy beat England in a dramatic Wembley final – but who won’t travel to Germany – include retired captain Giorgio Chiellini, his centre-back partner Leonardo Bonucci and winger Lorenzo Insigne.

On June 6, Spalletti will announce his final squad, which will face Spain, Croatia and Albania in Group B. Italy play Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina in pre-tournament friendlies early next month.

Provisional Italy squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Alex Meret (Napoli), Ivan Provedel (Lazio), Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham/ENG)
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Inter Milan), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan), Raoul Bellanova (Torino), Alessandro Buongiorno (Torino), Riccardo Calafiori (Bologna), Andrea Cambiaso (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Inter Milan), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Federico Dimarco (Inter Milan), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta)
Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Nicolo Fagioli (Juventus), Michael Folorunsho (Verona), Davide Frattesi (Inter Milan), Jorginho (Arsenal/ENG), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Samuele Ricci (Torino)
Forwards: Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Riccardo Orsolini (Bologna), Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli), Mateo Retegui (Genoa), Gianluca Scamacca (Atalanta), Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio)

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies