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Manolo Gabbiadini recalled to insane Italy squad

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Seriously, what is Antonio Conte smoking?

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Manolo Gabbiadini is back in the Italy fold after earning a recall with his strong Europa League performances, but Napoli fans will probably feel a little snubbed that they didn't get more players in the team after seeing the absolutely bonkers squad named by Antonio Conte.

Longtime poor-form absentees Emanuele Giaccherini, Stefano Okaka, and -- perhaps most shockingly -- Alessio Cerci all earned recalls as well, despite the trio being in just decent form with nothing spectacular to show for it. Fullback Lorenzo De Silvestri has earned a recall as well, despite only just playing his first match after coming back from a serious injury.

Thanks to those surprises and the continued selection of Riccardo Montolivo, Simone Zaza, and Davide Astori, all of whom have been painfully mediocre at best of late, there was no room for Lorenzo Insigne, or for Jorginho, who had been rumored to be getting his first Italy callup this month. Other Italians playing well, like Domenico Berardi, were also snubbed, leaving fans of Italian football everywhere scratching their heads wondering what the heck Conte is thinking with this team.

Admittedly Italy are only playing friendlies, making this a good time for Conte to experiment with his squad a bit, but this team is just bad. It's very poorly balanced and features a number of players who don't really seem to deserve being there, when other in-form options would give Conte a much better-built Italy side. He complains a lot about not being allowed to implement his vision for the national team, but naming teams like this won't help Conte make his case at all.

The full, bizarre Italy squad is listed below for your perusal. Italy play Belgium in Brussels on November 13th and Romania in Bologna on the 17th.

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Daniele Padelli (Torino), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint Germain)

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Sassuolo), Luca Antonelli (Milan), Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Lorenzo De Silvestri (Sampdoria)

Midfielders: Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Roberto Soriano (Sampdoria)

Forwards: Manolo Gabbiadini (Napoli), Eder (Sampdoria), Alessio Cerci (Milan), Stephan El Shaarawy (AS Monaco), Stefano Okaka (Anderlecht), Graziano Pellé (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Juventus)