Since making the Euro 2016 quarter finals, the Italian football team has gone through some turbulent times. Having failed to qualify for World Cup 2018 in Russia under Gian Piero Ventura, Roberto Mancini was appointed head coach. Since then the former Manchester City manager has begun to change the Azzurri’s fortunes. Mancini takes his youthful team to this summer’s tournament with an objective of winning it. Grouped with Switzerland, Turkey and Wales, Mancini has a tricky job at his hands. The following visual shows the players to watch from from Group A.
Note: The data for the visual was collected on 5th May, 2021
Breel Embolo (Switzerland):
This will be Embolo’s second European championship with the 24-year old center-forward from Borussia Monchengladbach part of the Swiss squad for Euro 2016. Embolo is a tall, quick forward. Only four other center forwards have attempted more dribbles than Embolo this season. Embolo has already made more than a handful of appearances for Switzerland and will be a key player for the Swiss this summer. The Swiss will be looking for Embolo to score goals as they look to advance from the group stages.
Yusuf Yazici (Turkey):
After signing for Lille at the beginning of last season, Yazici has gradually developed at the club. Having played only slightly more minutes than last season in the league, Yazici has seven goals and five assists to his name this season. He can play as a right winger, forward or a right attacking midfielder. Having started his Turkey career in midfield back in 2017, he has played across all the positions in attack and now is set to play a vital part in his team’s push to go beyond the group stages of the tournament.
Harry Wilson (Wales):
A couple of seasons back Harry Wilson lit up the Championship on loan at Derby County from Liverpool. Wilson, however, struggled to replicate that form last season on loan at Bournemouth. In 2020/21 he returned to the Championship to play for Cardiff City and it is fair to say the loan spell was a successful one. Only three other players had more assists than Wilson in the 2020/21 season. Wilson also found the net seven times, finishing as Cardiff’s second highest goal scorer. Wales will be thrilled to see that Wilson has found his form this season and will be hoping he can continue that form in this summer’s tournament.
Manuel Locatelli (Italy):
Locatelli is one of the brightest prospects to appear in the Serie A in recent years. The 23-year-old midfielder playing for Sassuolo in the heart of the midfield, mostly, stands out for his defensive numbers this season. Not just that, he is in the top five for the most key passes attempted per 90 minutes. His numbers go on to show he can put on a show dictating the play when he is put in any position in any team. There is absolutely no doubt that Locatelli will be an integral part of the Italy Squad in the Euro 2020.