Lorenzo Insigne says his move to Major League Soccer side Toronto FC came about due to his need for a new challenge after spending his entire career with Napoli.

The Italy international agreed to join Toronto in January, going on to finish the 2021-22 Serie A season with 11 goals in 32 appearances for Luciano Spalletti's Napoli before heading to Canada.

Insigne scored 122 goals in 434 appearances for his hometown club, a tally which is only bettered by Dries Mertens (148) and represents seven goals more than the late, great Diego Maradona netted for the Partenopei (115).

Speaking at his first news conference in Toronto, Insigne refuted the suggestion that MLS represented a step down for a player of his quality.

Asked whether he had been presented with other options, Insigne said: "I didn't receive any [other] offers at that time. It was very early when I first met the president, and I still had my contract with Napoli. I could have stayed in Europe. 

"I'm 31, so I still have many years in front of me, but I wanted to choose happiness and the wellbeing of my family. 

"As I mentioned before, I won a lot with Napoli, and I lost as well. But I wanted a change and more importantly, a challenge, either in another European club or here in North America. 

"I've heard people saying that soccer in North America is not real soccer, but I've seen it and it's not true. 

"It is a challenge because of the move, but I'm really grateful to the opportunity the president gave me and the whole organisation has given me, and the love and the effort that everybody is putting into this. I'm very thankful, and I want to repay the love with my performances during the season."

Insigne joins a team that sits 11th in the Eastern Conference, but he is already targeting silverware.

"I am very happy to be here. This is a big and new adventure for me and my family, this is the first time we have been away from Napoli," he said.

"But it was a great choice, because when I first met the president, he talked to me about Toronto as a city and especially about the team. 

"He struck me as a really great person, and the project that he explained to me about the team stuck with me.

"I made the decision, not for the money, but for a new life for my family and my kids, and for their wellbeing. The project is certainly a challenge, and I would like to be part of winning the championship.

"I played for Napoli for 10 years and for the Italian national team, winning the Euros. So, I don't have any problem with being under pressure, and I'd rather have my actions speak for me on the pitch."

Nicolo Zaniolo has apologised for Italy's failure to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar as he pledged to become a key part of Roberto Mancini's next Azzurri side.

Italy will miss a second successive World Cup this year after falling to a stunning play-off reverse to North Macedonia in March, and their misery was compounded this month when they were beaten 3-0 by Argentina at Wembley in the Finalissima.

They also won just one of their first four Nations League games, losing 5-2 to Germany last time out.

Zaniolo was absent as Mancini's men beat England on penalties to win the rearranged Euro 2020 tournament last July, and made just one appearance throughout Italy's unsuccessful World Cup qualification campaign.

The creative midfielder is desperate to become a key part of Mancini's next side, and hailed the job the former Manchester City boss has done with the national team.

"I'm sorry, because we have to wait another four years," he told Sportweek. "But let's go on. I'm used to chasing. There will be other goals in between.

"The first time Mancini called me I was very young... He came there to talk to me, to make me feel immediately at ease. Great person, professional. I will do everything to convince Mancini."

Moving forward, Italy will be without defensive stalwart Giorgio Chiellini, who won his 117th and final international cap in the Argentina defeat – matching Daniele De Rossi as his nations' fourth-most capped player.

And Zaniolo thinks the former Juventus man will be difficult to replace.

"[Chiellini] has always been the most difficult to overcome," he said. "He is physically strong and off the pitch, he is an exceptional person."

At club level, Zaniolo enjoyed a successful campaign under Jose Mourinho at Roma, making 30 appearances in all competitions as the Giallorossi won the Europa Conference League, and scored the only goal of last month's final win over Feyenoord.

The 22-year-old says he has learnt a lot from playing under Mourinho.

"He's a winner," he said. "He taught me how to get into position in the defensive phase, where we had to improve and I still have to do it. 

"He helped me to manage certain situations, in the past I would have reacted badly or worse due to exclusion from games that were very significant for me. 

"He taught me to bite my tongue, [to be] mute and work more in the field."

Paul Pogba would be an "excellent" acquisition for Juventus should the Bianconeri manage to re-sign the former Manchester United midfielder, according to Italy legend Marco Tardelli.

Pogba, who spent four trophy-laden years in Turin between 2012 and 2016, has been strongly linked with a return to Juventus after his United departure was confirmed.

No United player registered as many Premier League assists (38) or chances created (231) as Pogba during his six-year spell at Old Trafford, although his second spell at the club ended in disappointing fashion, with the 2018 World Cup winner playing just 1,354 minutes of domestic league football last season.

Tardelli, who won five Serie A titles with Juventus during his playing career, insisted that while returning to a former club is always difficult, Pogba would be an ideal signing for coach Massimiliano Allegri.

"I believe that returns are always difficult, because there are higher expectations," Tardelli said, quoted by ANSA. "But it is an excellent acquisition."

Tardelli said Juventus needed to sign players who could make "an important contribution in every department". The squad is set for an overhaul, after finishing fourth in Serie A for a second successive season, having won the title in each of the nine previous campaigns.

 

The fact there are unusually few prominent Italian players at Juventus may not be helping the national team, who missed out on qualification for the World Cup and sit third in Nations League group A3 after winning just one of their first four games.

None of the five players to have played the most Serie A minutes for Juventus in the 2021-22 season (Wojciech Szczesny, Matthijs de Ligt, Juan Cuadrado, Alvaro Morata and Adrien Rabiot) are Italian, with Manuel Locatelli sixth on that list.

Roberto Mancini's Italy endured a disappointing international break in June, being thrashed 5-2 by Germany on Tuesday having begun the month with a 3-0 reverse to a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina at Wembley, and Tardelli also believes the Azzurri are missing an elite forward.

"There is a block of foreigners [at Juventus] more than anything else," Tardelli said. "[Italy forwards Gianluca] Scamacca and [Giacomo] Raspadori play for Sassuolo, a team with little international experience.

"We lack a champion, especially in the advanced department, a player who manages to invent a pass, not strictly the number nine.

"If you don't score a goal there is always a problem, but I have faith in Scamacca, I also had it in [Ciro] Immobile but, if you don't show signs, you are criticised.

"Mancini is doing an excellent job; he is trying to find young people, and he has done it well in some cases. We need to have patience and hope to find a champion like [Francesco] Totti, like [Roberto] Baggio or like [Alessandro] Del Piero, because now I don't see him yet."

Thomas Muller lauded his side's acceptance of risk, following Germany's 5-2 win at home to Italy in the Nations League on Tuesday.

Muller was among the scorers for Die Mannschaft, who led 5-0 at one stage in Monchenglabach after Timo Werner's second of the night. Joshua Kimmich and Ilkay Gundogan were the other scorers for Germany, handing the home side a 2-0 lead at the interval.

Germany sit second in Group A3 after four games, following draws in the opening three matches characterised by high volumes of passive possession.

Especially after early exits at the past three major tournaments, however, the 32-year-old is buoyed by Germany's play under Hansi Flick despite ever-present room for improvement.

"One good aspect that we brought into play today is that we actually played a little more risky and had more courage," Muller told ZDF. "To accept the risk of losing the ball with the knowledge of snatching away the second ball. So, objective courage and not emotional courage.

"If we understand that a little better on the offensive, that a cross that doesn't lead directly to the goal becomes dangerous with the second ball if we are positioned like that, then we'll make life easier for us.

"We have good players, we have a good attitude and a good project going on. But we still have all sorts of deficits, you have to be honest."

Germany again dominated in possession but were able to translate that into good chances in front of goal on Tuesday, with Joshua Kimmich's opening goal in the 10th minute setting the tone.

The home side were levels above the reigning European champions, who fielded an inexperienced starting lineup and conceded five goals for the first time in a single match since 1957.

For Muller, who insisted he does not see himself playing much longer at international level, it was an affirmation of Germany's quality.

"We have everything to be able to beat anyone on a good day," he said. "We still have to improve on the football-savvy things, like wanting to do the right thing. We won a lot of second balls and that made the game easier for us.

"I know I won't play 50 more international matches. Let's see what happens in the next two or three years, but I'm enjoying it a lot at the moment."

A defiant Gianluigi Donnarumma claimed he will have his "head held high" following Italy's 5-2 defeat away to Germany in the Nations League on Tuesday.

Germany led 5-0 at one stage in Monchengladbach and wearing the captain's armband, the Azzurri goalkeeper had a disappointing night personally, with Timo Werner pinching the ball off him before making it 4-0.

Goals from Wilfried Gnonto and Alessandro Bastoni provided small consolation late for Italy but for an inexperienced squad, Tuesday's loss was a harsh reminder of international football's margin for error.

Asked whether distribution with his feet was an aspect he needed to improve upon post-game, after similarly getting his pocket picked in Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League exit, the 23-year-old responded angrily.

"When did it happen before? When I was fouled against Real Madrid? If we want to cause controversy over these things, then fine," Donnarumma told RAI Sport. "I am here to talk for the team. If you want to blame me, fine, I’ll take the blame, I am the captain and I keep going with head held high.

“I think you’re all trying to create something about these errors, fine.

"We are angry. There are no excuses, we have to get back out there and prove this is not us. There are simply no excuses."

The Azzurri sit third in Group A3 after two draws and a win in their opening three games but following their loss in the UEFA/CONMEBOL Finalissima, Tuesday's defeat represents a return to square one.

Donnarumma suggested end-of-season fatigue had been a contributing factor, but it had not been primary in Italy's performance in Germany.

"We were lacking everything tonight," he said. "There was also some fatigue after four games in 15 days at the end of the season, but we don’t want to seek alibis. Now we will look each other in the eye and analyse everything.

"We’re really disappointed for the fans, for what they saw tonight. We had a few chances, but it’s not good enough. We’ll analyse everything and start again.

"All of us made mistakes. I could’ve dealt with the situation better at 4-0 and kicked it away, but you learn from mistakes and grow. Now we just have to rest and come back much stronger than this."

Germany claimed their first win of this Nations League campaign as they hammered Italy 5-2 in Monchengladbach.

Having drawn each of their previous three Group C matches 1-1, Hansi Flick's side were dominant at Borussia-Park, easily swatting the European champions aside.

Joshua Kimmich got things started in the 10th minute and Germany never looked back, with Thomas Muller netting early in the second half after Ilkay Gundogan had scored from the penalty spot.

Timo Werner's rapid double added further gloss to a mightily impressive victory, as Germany made a statement of intent despite consolations from Wilfried Gnonto and Alessandro Bastoni.

Germany had the bit between their teeth from the off, and although Giacomo Raspadori should have put Italy ahead against the run of play, the hosts had the lead when Kimmich found time in the area to take a touch and side-foot home.

Gianluigi Donnarumma might have done better for Kimmich's opener, but he could do little to prevent Gundogan doubling Germany's lead from 12 yards after Bastoni inexplicably shoved Jonas Hofmann on the stroke of half-time.

Donnarumma was fetching the ball out of his net again six minutes after the restart. A cross from the left caused havoc in Italy's defence, with Muller's snapshot on the rebound making it 3-0.

A remarkable Manuel Neuer save from Nicolo Barella was rendered meaningless by an offside flag, but a dismal display continued for his opposite number.

While Donnarumma would have been hard pushed to prevent Werner's first goal – a close-range effort from Serge Gnabry's cute lay-off – he was at fault for the striker's second a minute later, playing a dreadful pass that was intercepted by Gnabry, before being fooled by the subsequent finish.

Neuer gave Donnarumma a run for his money with an unusually weak save to gift Gnonto a maiden international goal, with Bastoni heading in a further consolation in stoppage time in a nevertheless humbling defeat for Italy.

German goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer looked forward to ending a string of mediocre results when his side face Italy on Tuesday, saying "a win would taste good".

Saturday's 1-1 draw against Hungary was Germany's fourth consecutive 1-1 draw, with the same result against England and Italy this month, and the Netherlands back in March.

In that last meeting with Italy, Germany controlled 65 per cent of the possession, completing over double the amount of passes (613-302), but they had to come from behind and settle for the draw thanks to Joshua Kimmich's equaliser.

Speaking to the media ahead of the contest, Neuer said his side played with the "right attitude" against Hungary, and he hopes Germany can get back on track with a strong result when the Italians travel to Borussia-Park.

"The disappointment has already prevailed, but we don't have to bury our heads in the sand either," he said. "Our hunger and our motivation are there. 

"We may have lacked creativity and vigour, but we showed the right attitude in every game.

"A win would taste good for us. We want to get the three points against Italy and the sense of achievement at the end.

"You can't just drop a game. We want to be as well-rehearsed as possible on the defensive for the World Cup. 

"That will be crucial for me, and that's why it's good to play against such good opponents in the Nations League."

Germany head coach Hansi Flick also looked on the bright side, and acknowledged he is still very much in data-gathering mode.

"The team has made good progress – we haven't lost a game yet," he said. "But in the last four games – against quite strong opponents – we've only drawn four times. 

"We were hoping for more, and I also thought that we'd made a bit more progress in development. As I said before, the four games are used for analysis, which we have to fine-tune in September. And that is our task now."

While all focus seems to be on the World Cup, Flick admitted he is desperate to get that winning feeling back in the group.

"I just don't like the four draws because I want to win, and the team feels the same way," he said. "We want to win games.

"Victories are always important for the team. We have to give everything again against Italy, with a win the conviction that you have good quality is much higher.

"Italy are doing very well. They have a broad squad and always bring freshness to the pitch. 

"We want to stress the opponent, put him under pressure. Our transition game has to get better, that's where our focus is.

"Our offensive doesn't lack direction, but rather the determination and the absolute will to finish. This requires conviction, but also freshness – and after such a long season that is not always available."

Robert Mancini has expressed his excitement at the future after offering opportunities to a number of young players with Italy during the Nations League campaign.

Italy crashed out in the World Cup play-offs to North Macedonia, failing to make Qatar 2022 after missing out on the tournament in Russia four years earlier.

That capped a turbulent period in Italian football after winning Euro 2020, with many questioning Serie A coaches for allowing younger domestic players the chance to develop.

Mancini responded by promising more opportunities for youthful players with Italy, after the 'Finalissima' defeat to Argentina at Wembley Stadium at the start of June's international schedule.

Davide Frattesi, Federico Gatti and Gianluca Scamacca were among that emerging crop to feature in the Nations League campaign, with Italy drawing two games and winning the other.

That has left the Azzurri top of League A Group 3, which includes Germany, England and Hungary, ahead of Tuesday's clash with Hansi Flick's side.

Coach Mancini revealed he is learning a lot as he looks ahead to the future.

"I saw some guys who can have a great future," he said. "The level in the national team is very high. I think the boys need to have the chance to play.

"The first time they made me play was Radice, 1981, in the first team. It wasn't Serie A, it was a New Year's tournament.

"At the first ball they gave me, I lifted my foot and the ball passed, I did not touch it. For a young person, it is not easy, you have to have confidence and let them play even without optimal performance.

"It can be an important thing, it is possible to get to know them more closely. Seeing those guys for three days gave us the opportunity to understand who could be more ready."

While Mancini has started to utilise younger players, he remains unsure how Lorenzo Insigne will progress playing in MLS for Toronto FC.

"He will depend on how he will be and what will happen there. He has given so much to us, he is a great player, it depends on what happens in MLS," he added.

Giorgio Chiellini has confirmed he will join MLS side Los Angeles FC on a free transfer.

The Juventus great revealed his intentions to leave Turin at the end of the season, ending a 17-year spell with the Bianconeri in which he made 425 Serie A appearances.

Chiellini also retired from international football with Italy two weeks ago following the 3-0 'Finalissima' defeat to Argentina in a meeting between the Euro 2020 winners and Copa America champions.

The 37-year-old has expressed his desire to use his vast experience to go into management or a director role, once his playing career is finished.

Los Angeles will likely be his final club that he plays for, after Chiellini took to Twitter on Monday to confirm his move to the Black and Gold on a reported 18-month contract.

"I am ready for a new role on the pitch," he said. "But mentally, I'd also be ready to become a director.

"I'd like to know everything going on around the pitch, inside the offices, but it takes time, patience and desire to sacrifice.

"We'll talk again in a few years and hopefully, I'll have understood the particularities and difficulties of the role.

"My adventure in the USA will prepare me for what will happen next."

Chiellini will hope to bolster the defence of a Los Angeles side that sit four points clear at the Western Conference summit after 14 games.

The experienced defender represents another big-name signing to go to MLS, joining the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to play in America.

Harry Maguire has defended England and Gareth Southgate from criticism relating to their style of play, pointing out they did well at the last World Cup and Euro 2020 playing the same way.

England were held to a 0-0 draw by Italy at Molineux on Saturday, leaving them with two points after their first three Nations League games.

Of similar concern is the fact the Three Lions have not scored a single goal from open play in those matches, with their solitary strike coming from the penalty spot in the midweek 1-1 draw with Germany.

Manager Southgate has been criticised for perceived cautious tactics, which many consider to be the root of the issue.

But Maguire is not convinced, suggesting they are not doing anything different to when they reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals or the Euro 2020 final.

"[Southgate's] record over the last four years speaks for itself," Maguire told BBC Radio 5 Live. "When you play at the highest level there's pressure and scrutiny and criticism, and every game that you don't win there will always be criticism [afterwards].

"The last few games we haven't scored enough goals, but we got to a World Cup semi-final playing this way and we were a penalty shoot-out away from winning the Euros in our home country, which would've been one of the greatest moments this country has ever seen."

Maguire then urged England fans to get behind the team, with the World Cup less than six months away.

"Let the football do the talking. Everyone get behind us for the World Cup and keep pushing us, we're doing our best to improve," he continued.

"We've shown there's still areas to improve and if we want to lift the World Cup we have to strive to improve.

"Every day that we're together we have to aim for that because we want to set high standards and the next [aim] is to lift the trophy."

England are next in action at home to Hungary on Tuesday as they look to finally get their first Nations League win of the year and get off foot of the Group A3 table.

Mason Mount insisted England have to improve in front of goal following their 0-0 draw at home to Italy in the Nations League on Saturday.

England sit bottom of Group 3 after Saturday's goalless draw at the Molineux Stadium, which was played behind closed doors after fan trouble during the Euro 2020 final between the two sides.

The Three Lions' only goal over these opening three games came via the penalty spot, with Harry Kane converting in the closing stages of their eventual 1-1 draw away to Germany.

According to Mount, the creation of chances would be more of an issue than their realisation but England still have to be able to capitalise after a second draw in three games.

"It is frustrating," he told Channel 4 post-match. "Obviously we want to win, we want to create chances and score goals. I probably should have done better with my chance, we had a few other chances, so it is something we need to look at.

"We have created chances but we should have done better with them. We are keeping clean sheets so it is something that is a positive but we need to keep working at it.

"We have had chances today and we probably should have scored, but sometimes you go through little periods where it is difficult. The only thing we can do is keep working hard in training, staying focused and look where we can improve. We have the players to do that, the talent and quality, just work at it."

Predominantly playing in an attacking three in Thomas Tuchel's 3-4-3 for Chelsea, Mount has seemingly found more freedom at international level as a conventional number 10.

Though deployed in a similar role to club level for their opening defeat to Hungary, England boss Gareth Southgate reverted to the 4-2-3-1, with the 23-year-old hinting he's more comfortable with the latter despite the result.

"I was in a 10 role so it gave me freedom to roam and find spaces, trying to link the midfield to the attacking boys," he said afterwards.

"I found myself in spaces to shoot a couple of time but did not to do well enough from my shot and it was too easy for the keeper. It is a difficult one to take because I feel we could have come away with more.

"We want to win every game, even if it is a friendly. We have looked at the last two games, felt confident in what we do but it is a tough one."

Italy head coach Robert Mancini admitted he is surprised by his inexperienced side's start to the Nations League following their 0-0 draw with England on Saturday.

Without midfield lynchpin Marco Verratti and the likes of Federico Chiesa and Andrea Belotti, the Azzurri put in an encouraging performance in Saturday's Euro 2020 final rematch, earning a point at the Molineux Stadium.

With the majority of the squad earning less than ten caps before this international window, Italy lead Group 3 after three games on five points, ahead of Hungary, Germany and England, who are bottom of the group on two points.

While conceding Italy are in early stages of transition after their failure to qualify for the World Cup, Mancini revealed he expected this initial period to be more volatile.

"I’ll be honest, I did not expect this. I thought it would be worse," he confessed. "We still have a lot to work on, there’s a long road ahead full of dangers.

"We certainly need to score more goals and if Davide Frattesi had scored in the opening five minutes, it would’ve been a different game. He’ll get it next time.

"I didn’t expect us to do so well in these three weeks together. It’s important that we haven’t changed our style of football, even when the personnel did."

With relative experience compared to the new faces in the squad, Lorenzo Pellegrini has had to take on more responsibility for the Azzurri following their loss to Argentina in the UEFA/CONMEBOL Finalissima, scoring against Germany and Hungary.

More of a threat in the penalty area from midfield than a technical and creative fulcrum, the 25-year-old earned a third consecutive start on Saturday – something he had not done since 2018.

The Roma captain was praised for his versatility by his coach despite evident room for improvement.

“Pellegrini has his own style of football," Mancini said. "He’s not a 10 like Giuseppe Giannini, nor a 10 like Francesco Totti.

"I think he can become much better with time, because he is so good at both attacking and defending.

"At times he loses balls he shouldn’t, but if he improves that and a couple of other things, he can become simply extraordinary.”

Gareth Southgate dismissed suggestions England's recent struggles are down to a conservative approach, instead ruing a lack of sharpness in the final third. 

England drew 0-0 with Italy on Saturday as the Three Lions were left rooted to the foot of their Nations League group with just two points from three games. 

Across the trio of matches played this month, England have scored just one goal – Harry Kane's penalty in the 1-1 draw with Germany. 

The Three Lions' performances have been widely criticised, and while they did create chances against the Azzurri, they were at times second best to a team undergoing something of a transformation. 

A common criticism of England throughout Southgate's time in charge has been that they lack an identity beyond their often pragmatic approach, but he did not want to entertain such an idea this time. 

Asked if he saw the performance as cautious, Southgate told Channel 4: "I don't see how you can really. 

"We tried to move the ball through a very good, well-organised team. We've got the ball into our forward players and we've given all of them a go, tried to refresh it because we know the state of the season we're at. 

"So, I think at the moment that little bit of sharpness in the final third isn't quite there, but I was pleased with the general performance." 

Tammy Abraham started in place of Kane in attack, with the Roma striker supported by Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish. 

While Sterling and Mount each managed three shots and Grealish laid on a game-high four key passes, Abraham mustered only two shots. 

One was a harmless off-target header and the other a wasteful finish after robbing Italy of possession inside their own area, as he scuffed wide of the right-hand post. 

Nevertheless, Southgate seemed encouraged by Abraham's display. 

"I said earlier in the week, we've been too reliant on Harry and Raheem for our goals," he continued. 

"Other players have got to step into that phase. A number of them do it for their clubs but at international level they've not managed to convert that. 

"So we've looked dangerous without getting the goals that are needed in the bigger games. 

"I thought Tammy was fine. I haven't seen that chance back from right at the start, but that's probably the one [England should have taken]. 

"We felt we needed to refresh the team when we did it [brought Abraham off] but I wasn't unhappy with Tammy's performance at all." 

England will hope to finally get their first win of their Nations League campaign on Tuesday when they host Hungary, to whom they lost in Budapest last weekend. 

England's bid to gain a measure of revenge for their Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy fell flat as the Three Lions were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw by an experimental Azzurri outfit at Molineux on Saturday.

Exactly 11 months on from Italy beating England on penalties at Wembley, Gareth Southgate's men failed to kick-start their Nations League campaign against a side who have not qualified for Qatar 2022 and were battered by Argentina in the Finalissima.

England had chances but were arguably second-best in the first half, as they were cheered on by a massively reduced crowd made up mostly by children as a consequence of the crowd trouble at last July's final.

The hosts had the better of the second period but nonetheless slumped to three successive games without a win for only the second time under Southgate.

A gripping start saw Davide Frattesi and Tammy Abraham miss presentable close-range chances, before Gianluigi Donnarumma tipped a Mason Mount effort onto the crossbar all inside the first 10 minutes.

The flurry was followed by something of a lull, but Italy threatened again just before the half-hour mark as Aaron Ramsdale produced a fine stop to thwart Sandro Tonali from point-blank range.

Italy finished the half dangerously, too. Gianluca Scamacca smashed over from eight yards and Matteo Pessina saw his drive turned over.

England should have made it 1-0 early in the second half, but Raheem Sterling failed to convert from Reece James' delivery across goal.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo then made a mess of Lorenzo Pellegrini's lofted pass into the box, neither squaring to the unmarked Scamacca nor getting a shot away, and the game ultimately petered out to a goalless draw.

Gareth Southgate says he "will not outstay" his welcome as England manager as he once again hit back at criticism over his team selections.

England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018, the final four of the Nations League in 2019 and were runners-up at last year's Euro 2020.

Yet despite that, there have been continued calls for Southgate to adopt a more attacking approach by fielding the likes of Jack Grealish and Trent Alexander-Arnold more often.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Nations League clash with Italy at a behind-closed-doors Molineux, however, Southgate refuted the idea that he is not gung-ho enough. 

"I've got to find a balance because I don't want to sit and be defensive, but some people have managed teams and others haven't," he said. 

"Until you've managed teams, you have a different view of the game. 

"What's needed to win football matches are the sorts of things [Mason] Mount did on [Joshua] Kimmich that allows other things to happen. 

"For the man that comes and stands on the terrace and pays his money, I totally understand he wants to see a Grealish with a [Raheem] Sterling with a [Bukayo] Saka. 

"But you've got to have a balance of the team, this is top-level football."

 

Southgate was appointed permanent England boss in November 2016 and signed a new deal seven months ago that runs through until the end of 2024.

"I've got to manage in the way I see fit. I won't outstay my welcome but I think I can do a good job for the team, and I think we've done a good job for the team," he added. 

"I think we'll continue to improve the team, which we've done over a consistent period of time, and we're also developing young players that will leave England in a good place."

England followed up a 1-0 loss to Hungary with a 1-1 draw away at Germany in their opening two Nations League matches.

Only once before, between July and September 2018, have the Three Lions failed to win three in a row under Southgate.

Asked why he felt the need to bring up his future, Southgate said: "If you look back, I've always said it. 

"I am not going to be here forever, am I? There will be another England manager… that's how I have always felt about it. 

"The major part of that is how the players are. Do I still feel the players give everything and respond to what we do? Yes, I do."

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