Antonio Conte has finally named his official 23 man squad that Italy will take to Euro 2016 in France, and Napoli fans will have mixed emotions over it.
Lorenzo Insigne has made the final roster, though Jorginho failed to make the cut despite his impressive performances in training for Italy over the last two weeks, and his positive showing against Scotland over the weekend. His omission is particularly curious when you look at the rest of Italy's midfield, because without him, they're going to struggle for anything resembling positive possession.
Napoli fans had been hoping that a tired and out-of-form Insigne would get a chance to relax this summer while Jorginho was given a chance to shine in the European Championship stage, but that will not be the case. Now Napoli fans will have to hope that Insigne makes it through the tournament in one piece, because in an uncertain-looking summer, he will be perhaps more important to the club than ever.
The questions for Italy don't stop at Jorginho's exclusion, though. The midfield as a whole looks bizarre and uninspiring, leaning on a pairing of Daniele De Rossi and Thiago Motta, who were as undependable at the end of the season as they are old. None of Marco Parolo, Antonio Candreva, or Emanuele Giaccherini were particularly impressive late in the season, and Stefano Sturaro only played a handful of times in the second half of the campaign.
And then there's the defense. If they're going with a three-man defense as is rumored and reported, there's only one backup. And who are the wide defenders? Matteo Darmian and Mattia De Sciglio are the obvious two, but both struggled for much of their club campaigns. Alessandro Florenzi was frequently used as a fullback last season by Roma and has a skillset that should work well as a wingback, but he was given a number that suggests more of a central midfield role.
Top all that off with the attack filled with out-of-form players who struggled to score for much of the second half of the season, and there's not a lot of optimism flowing around the Gli Azzurri fanbase right now. Facing a tough Euro 2016 group of Belgium, Sweden, and the Republic of Ireland, Italy needed to get their squad exactly right in order to advance -- and it looks like Antonio Conte fell well short of that.
Here's the full 23 man squad, plus the three named emergency reserves:
Goalkeepers (3): Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Antonio Mirante (Lazio), Salvatore Sirigu (PSG)
Defense (6): Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (AC MIlan)
Midfielders (9): Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Thiago Motta (PSG), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Emanuele Gaccherini (Bologna), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Stefano Sturaro (Juventus), Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (AC MIlan)
Forwards (5): Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Eder (Inter Milan), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Simone Zaza (Juventus)
Reserves: Davide Zappacosta (Torino, midfield), Daniele Rugani (Juventus, defense), Marco Benassi (Torino, midfield)