Two fast-rising footballers of Nigerian descent could switch their allegiance to Italy’s national team in the October international break.
Italy are struggling in their quest to qualify for the 2024 European Championship. Due to their struggles – from failing to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, to failing to win the Nations League in June – coach Roberto Mancini had to step down as the head coach of the team.
Luciano Spalletti, who gained the world’s attention as a coach after leading Napoli to win the Scudetto for the first time in 33 years last season, has been appointed as the head coach of Italy’s national team.
The arrival of the 64-year-old Italian tactician hasn’t brought much for the team yet. In his first game in charge of the team, Italy drew 1-1 with lowly-rated North Macedonia on September 9.
Coach Spalletti and his boys who are currently occupying the 3rd spot in Group C will be in action at 7:45 p.m. later today, September 12, against Ukraine as they hope to return to winning ways in the qualification series.
After this September international break, coach Spalletti is planning to inject fresh blood into the team and he is closely monitoring two players of Nigerian descent according to the Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The two players are Destiny Udogie who currently plays for the Premier League club, Tottenham Hotspur, and Michael Kayode, who currently plays for Italian Serie A club, Fiorentina.
Michael Kayode, 19 years old, was born in Italy to Nigerian parents. The prolific right-back has played for Italy’s under-19 national team. However, he is still eligible to play for Nigeria.
Destiny Udogie was also born in Italy to Nigerian parents. The 20-year-old left-back has played for Italy in all youth levels but he is still eligible to play for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Italy’s head coach could invite them for the October international break to execute the Italy vs. Malta and England vs. Italy Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Other players who could be invited to Italy’s national team in October are Nicolò Fagioli (Juventus), Samuele Ricci (Torino), Cesare Casadei (Leicester City, on loan from Chelsea), Fabio Miretti (Juventus), Moise Kean (Juventus) and Gianluca Scamacca (Atalanta).