In a moment of great difficulty for Italian football and its national team, it’s mid-table Serie A clubs that are showing the way to fix the Azzurri‘s problems. Sampdoria, Genoa, Cagliari, and, moreover, Empoli are all investing in young Italian players, who constitute more than 50% of these teams’ rosters.
Empoli, in particular, should be appreciated for the efforts they are making with their youth sector and their philosophy of giving space to young local players. The Tuscan team feature 18 Italian players out of a main roster of 27 elements.
They are having an excellent season in Serie A, also thanks to the good performances of such players as Fabiano Parisi and Andrea Pinamonti – who both captured the attention of many bigger Italian clubs.
The question, though, is whether a Parisi or a Pinamonti would find enough playing time at Milan, Inter, or Juventus – who have continued to invest mainly abroad in the past few seasons.
The Azzurri‘s disastrous elimination in the World Cup Playoffs showed once more that our young players needs to be given the chance to play more, both domestically and internationally. They must have the possibility to make mistakes, cultivate their talent, and understand what it means to play for a top club, especially when it comes to managing the pressure.
Such mid-table teams as Empoli and Genoa can be a good environment for a young player to take his first step.
But, in order to become true champions, Italian young talents need something more. It’s the traditional Serie A powerhouses that need to lead the way and give our future Azzurri that space that, in a constant rush to win and plan only for the short-term, they almost never get.