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Jorginho wants Italy international callup, and it makes complete sense to give him one

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Now that the Napoli midfielder is eligible to play for the Italian international team, Jorginho would like nothing more than to get a call from Antonio Conte. Italy's new manager should give serious thought to making it happen.

Giuseppe Bellini

International football is a funny thing. Some countries are so nationalistic that they'd never consider using a naturalized player, or a player who gained citizenship in a new country after living and working there for several years. Some are so nationalistic that if one of their players moves abroad, he's dropped from the national team setup. Some are made up almost entirely of naturalized players. Some, like the United States, are a weird mashup of native sons and players who were born abroad and have rarely even visited their native country, but hold citizenship because of their parents or grandparents who went abroad with the military and never really went back.

Italy, however, has a long history of embracing naturalized players in to their international side. One of the more recently notable examples of that is Thiago Motta, who Cesare Prandelli welcomed in to his Italy side after the Brazilian-born midfielder gained Italian citizenship. Motta went on to star for Prandelli in Euro 2012 and the Confederations Cup, and featured in the World Cup as well in a smaller role. Another Brazilian, new Juventus signing Romulo, almost made the final cut to the World Cup squad and has committed his international future to Gli Azzurri.

Now Antonio Conte has the chance to bring in yet another Brazilian in to his setup, as Napoli midfielder Jorginho is now eligible to be selected by Italy, and has re-iterated his desire to play for the Azzurri ahead of Conte's first match as an international manager. Both Jorginho and his agent have made several comments to that effect in recent days and weeks, and even looking beyond the player's desire to pull on an Italian shirt, there's a lot of sense in Conte calling Jorginho up in the future.

Jorginho, who already held an Italian passport thanks to blood relations and has now spent enough time in the country to naturalize anyway, offers Italy a quality creative presence deeper in the pitch who does a fair bit of defensive work himself, albeit not in the same smash-mouth mold of a Daniele De Rossi. But with Andrea Pirlo's future with the national side in question and Marco Verratti yet to really convince on the international stage, having Jorginho available for that deeper midfield creative role could be vital for Conte and Italy.

Jorginho may not have the same level of pure creativity of the two Italians, but he's certainly not lacking in that department, as witnessed in any Napoli match. He's constantly springing his teammates with long diagonal balls, or cleverly slipping someone through to a dangerous area with a layoff or low pass in to space. He's also a steadying influence in midfield with his work rate, good positioning sense, willingness to press, and feel for cutting off passes. The 22 year old regularly holds his own against opponents who are stronger and more experienced, and his skillset is one that the Italian side was crying out for at times in the World Cup.

While some more hard-line Italy fans won't like another naturalized player in the setup, it'd be hard for them not to like Jorginho if he's given a chance. He has Italian blood in him, he wants to play for Italy much more than he wants to play for Brazil, and he can give Italy another quality player in a spot where they need it. What's not to love? Give him a call, Conte. You won't regret it.