Locatelli determined to earn Italy recall after Euro 2024 qualification omission

By Sports Desk March 20, 2023

Manuel Locatelli believes he was overlooked for Italy's latest squad on technical merits, with the Juventus midfielder now determined to earn a recall.

Locatelli was omitted from coach Roberto Mancini's latest Azzurri squad for their Euro 2024 qualifiers with England and Malta this week.

A member of the Italy team that defeated the former in the Euro 2020 final, the 25-year-old won his most recent cap in June against the Three Lions again.

But he will not face them this time around, with the Bianconeri man revealing he did not receive a call from the national team coach to inform him either way.

"I was sad about not being called up to the national team," he told Rai Sport. "I'm being honest. I didn't hear from Mancini."

Locatelli missed Italy's last two squads in September and October, having been injured in the first instance before citing personal reasons for his subsequent absence.

Asked whether he felt his omission was punishment, the midfielder pushed back on the suggestion, citing the belief it came down to Mancini's tactical preference.

"[Was it for] disciplinary reasons? Absolutely not," he added. "I think it was a technical choice. I'll work harder on the pitch to get back there."

Italy host England in Naples on Thursday, before they travel to face Malta three days later, in their first matches since two friendlies in November.

The Azzurri missed out on qualification for last year's World Cup in Qatar, and will be determined to ensure they reach Euro 2024 in order to defend their title.

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