The squad Napoli is going to travel with to the Czech Republic to take on Sparta Prague in the Europa League has been announced, and there's one fascinating inclusion.
There are no big surprises for this match in terms of who's missing. Dries Mertens is still absent as he's only just returned to training. Michu is still not recovered from his ankle injury and likely needs surgery. Camilo Zuniga still hates his knee. Lorenzo Insigne is months away from returning.
What's interesting, though, is someone who is in the traveling squad. Eighteen year old midfielder Antonio Romano has been summoned from the primavera squad to travel with the seniors as they prepare for a very important group between the two clubs tied atop Group I on nine points each. Romano has been impressive in his eleven matches with Napoli's youth squad this season, as well as his stints with Italy's youth international setup, and is being rewarded with a callup for his efforts.
Romano likely won't play on Thursday; in point of fact, he likely won't even make the bench, as Napoli are traveling 20 players and can only name an 18-man matchday squad. But fellow youth player Nikita Contini has gained valuable experience taking part of Napoli's preparations as the club's third Europa League goalkeeper, and now it's Romano's chance to benefit from the same lessons.
The full list of players making the trip is below:
Goalkeepers: Rafael Cabral, Mariano Andujar, Nikita Contini
Defenders: Christian Maggio, Giandomenico Mesto, Miguel Britos, Faouzi Ghoulam, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raul Albiol, Henrique Buss
Midfielders: Jorginho, David Lopez, Walter Gargano, Gokhan Inler, Jonathan De Guzman, Antonio Romano, Marek Hamsik
Forwards: Jose Callejon, Duvan Zapata, Gonzalo Higuain