Mancini Urges Mentality Change to Promote Young Players

Italy coach Roberto Mancini has voiced his opinion on the generational change being experienced in Italian football. The former Manchester City coach believes clubs and management should place more trust in young footballers, pushing them to achieve first-team football at an early age.

Speaking at the CONI Hall of Honor function (via Tuttomercatoweb), the EURO 2020 winner has backed managers to give talents early playing opportunities in the first-team squad.

“Generational change? In football it’s more difficult than in volleyball, basketball or water polo. In Italy we have to change our mentality and think that 18–19-year-olds can play at the highest level. We need to trust them. We need to give them the opportunity to mistakes and being called up by the national teams.

Mancini took example of the Italy youth teams.

“The U21s, for example, arrive at the end of the two-year period with 23-year-old players and some of them don’t play in the first team, so it’s hard for us to look for talent.”

Italy have 12 players aged 23 or lower in the national team, including Simone Pafundi, who recently became the youngest national team debutant in over 100 years, aged just 16 years and 247 days.

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