Juventus Youngster Set to Start for Italy Versus Croatia

Juventus prodigy Nicolo Fagioli is reportedly the leading favorite to take Joringho’s place in the starting XI when Italy take on Croatia on Monday. With a place in the Euro 2024 knockout stages on the line, the stakes are as high as it gets, meaning the 23-year-old will have to show what he’s made of in his first tournament start.
According to pages two and three of today’s Gazzetta dello Sport edition, Fagioli is the frontrunner to join forces with Italy star Nicolo Barella in the double-pivot.
Luciano Spalletti’s decision to include Fagioli in his Euro 2024 squad has sparked an intense debate. That’s because he omitted the youngster’s clubmate Manuel Locatelli, even though he was a regular starter for Juventus last season. But this is no time for discussions as Italy prepare to lock horns with Croatia in a qualification Group B six-pointer.
Fagioli missed a large chunk of the 2023/24 Serie A season due to suspension for breaching betting rules. He only returned to action in May and could be somewhat rusty. Spalletti, nonetheless, considers playing him from the start. Jorginho’s apathetic showing was heavily responsible for Spain’s dominant win against Italy on Thursday.
The ex-Napoli man was nowhere near the game’s pace, signaling the Italy boss it’s time for a change. Fagioli must shake off the rustiness after only being handed 441 minutes of top-flight football in 2023/24. His position on the pitch is critical, not least because he’s about to face Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic.
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