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Antonio Conte considering Lorenzo Insigne callup to Italy squad to test new role

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Italy's manager is considering bringing Insigne back in to the national team fold after his form has improved recently. What's interesting, though, is that Conte might want to experiment with where Insigne is playing while he has him.

Claudio Villa

The last five months have been rough more often than not for Lorenzo Insigne. He won the incredible honor of being part of the Italy squad that went to the World Cup in Brazil, but then only got on the field once as a substitute while Italy failed their way out of the group stage.

Insigne hasn't been back in the Italian side since, as fan backlash worsened the blow to his confidence that the World Cup represented, and his club form suffered horribly as a result. In the last month, though, Insigne's form has been vastly improved, scoring a goal and frequently looking like one of Napoli's most dangerous players. Now he's signed a new contract with Napoli, and might have one more reward coming soon, as new Italy manager Antonio Conte is reportedly considering calling Insigne back in to his squad.

What's most interesting about that, though, is that Conte is reportedly thinking about using Insigne in a different role than normal. Insigne came up through the academy system as a second striker, and has mostly been used as a wide forward with Napoli, especially under Rafa Benitez. That was also true when he was with Italy under Cesare Prandelli, but Conte loves to tinker when he has the opportunity, and apparently he sees a suitability for Insigne to play in midfield.

The reports indicate that Conte wants to use Insigne along with Andrea Pirlo and another midfielder (most likely Claudio Marchisio) in the middle three of his 3-5-2 system. Insigne would likely be the most advanced of that trio, providing more direct support for Italy's two strikers, something that Conte's national side has struggled with in their first few matches.

While it's not a role Insigne has played before, you can certainly see the logic behind thinking it might work. He has the work rate to bust up and down the pitch to do defensive work and pick up the ball wherever he needs to, and while he's not a divine playmaker, he can see the lanes and holes well enough and has the ability to put the ball where it needs to be. He's also shown a good rapport with Ciro Immobile when the two have played together in the past, which is surely something Conte is considering as he tries to get the best out of his young forward.

No matter what role Conte elects to use Insigne in, it will just be good to see him with the national team again. He's earned this chance, and hopefully he takes it and runs with it, and is part of the Italian national team for a long time to come.