De Rossi calls on more chances for youngsters in Italian football: Does Serie A have a problem with youth?

The former Italy midfielder has urged clubs in Serie A to offer more opportunities to younger players after Giacomo Raspadori's impressive recent Azzurri performances.


Former AS Roma and Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi has urged teams in Serie A to have more trust in younger players and be braver in their selections, whilst admitting that the technical standard in Italy may be declining.

The ex-Giallorossi star spent almost his entire career with his boyhood club, aside from a late spell with Boca Juniors, before retiring and becoming involved with the Italian national team set up under coach Roberto Mancini.

In an interview with Sky Sport Italia at the Social Football Summit event in Rome, De Rossi explained why Mancini‘s faith in youth would yield results, citing his decision to select Nicolo Zaniolo in 2018 before he had even made his AS Roma debut.

Mancini, from Zaniolo down, has shown that he is willing to look at everyone. The material is there but they must be helped to be exposed and given the chance,” De Rossi claimed.

“There is probably an impoverishment in terms of technical players coming through. People don’t live with the ball at their feet or on the beach as I did in Ostia anymore. There is less raw material, but there is something,” he continued.

“We found four or five players I didn’t know about from the youth teams. If you have the courage, the youngsters are there and I advise them to play. I see many guys who cling to their clubs and don’t want to take a chance, but they should find their way,” De Rossi went on.

Giacomo Raspadori and Roberto Mancini talk during an Italy match. (REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo)

Raspadori catches the eye

De Rossi also touched on one of the breakout stars of this young Azzurri side, suggesting that Napoli forward Giacomo Raspadori could follow a similar route with Italy as he had done when establishing himself in 2006.

“He is a golden boy, a young gentleman. It makes me happy to see these guys follow the same path that I did in the past, and see these guys emerge in the national team,” De Rossi concluded.

Raspadori impressed in the September international break, scoring against both England and Hungary and potentially presenting a solution to the Azzurri’s problems in attack.


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