The hopes of seeing Napoli players in the Italy squad for Euro 2016 just got raised significantly, as Antonio Conte named both Jorginho and Lorenzo Insigne to his preliminary 30-man roster for the tournament.
Here is #Conte's 30-man squad for the #Azzurri's second pre #EURO2016 training camp. #VivoAzzurro #Italy pic.twitter.com/jIaWaG8ao0— Italy (@azzurri) May 23, 2016
It's good news for Jorginho and Insigne, who have both been working hard to make the Italy squad for this tournament, and it seems like all that hard work is starting to pay off. Two other Napoli players who have been involved in the Italy squad in the recent past did not make the provisional roster, however, though few will be surprised to see Manolo Gabbiadini and Christian Maggio left out. New signing Lorenzo Tonelli also missed the provisional squad, despite reportedly doing well in last week's training camp sessions.
Of course, this doesn't mean quite yet that they've made the final squad. There's still another week of training camp and friendlies to get through first, We already know that Jorginho is emerging as a favorite to make the cut, but it still sounds as though Insigne is on the bubble of the roster based on recent reports in Italy.
Insigne does have one potential advantage when you compare him to the other forwards on the preliminary squad. Eder and Graziano Pelle are likely already penned into Conte's 23-man squad, leaving likely two open spots for the remaining trio of Insigne, Ciro Immobile, and Simone Zaza. Insigne brings a creative spark that neither of the other two have -- any of the forwards at all, really -- and considering how much Italy have struggled in the final third over the last year, that factor could be exactly what Italy need, and what will get him into the squad.
Of course, there's a number of question marks throughout the rest of the squad. Where's Gianluigi Donnarumma? Salvatore Sirigu and Federico Marchetti showed far less than the teenage sensation did in goal this past season. Davide Astori was just bad this season, while Angelo Ogbonna was just OK and Daniele Rugani hardly played. Marco Benassi? Stefano Sturaro? Really? Sure, neither player will make the 23 man, but what did they do to earn a preliminary spot?
Hopefully these question marks get ironed out over the next week or so. We should learn a lot about this team when they take on Scotland on Sunday, May 29th in a friendly in Malta before heading to France for the European Championships. The 23 man squad will be announced the next day, and then have a friendly against Finland on June 6th in one last tune-up before they take on Belgium on June 13th in their first Euro 2016 group stage match.
Good luck to Jorginho and Insigne in making the final squad. Italy is going to need them.