5 Players Italy Should Call Up for Euro 2016 Qualification
Now that the World Cup is in the rear-view mirror for Italy, it's time to look forward and see who could be called up that could influence the nation's run toward Euro 2016.
Fortunately, there is still plenty of talent that was left at home for the World Cup in Brazil. Therefore, finding a solution should not be difficult.
Here are five players that Italy's new coach should call up as the team begin the qualification process to get into Euro 2016.
Stephan El Shaarawy
The 21-year-old burst on the scene with Milan two seasons ago when he managed to score 14 goals in the first half of the year.
Since then, his career has spiraled downward. He's suffered a multitude of injuries that have kept him out of action.
El Shaarawy was also the starting striker for Italy as a teenager. Now that he's healthy, it's time for Il Faraone to get back on track domestically with Milan and become a factor once again with the Azzurri.
His blend of pace, hard work and finishing makes him one of the most interesting prospects coming out of the peninsula.
Surprise, surprise. Giuseppe Rossi is on the list.
If there's anyone who could have helped Italy in South America, it's this lovely little footballer.
Rossi was the leading goalscorer in Serie A this past season before he succumbed to yet another leg injury, which kept him out for months.
He showed a good level of fitness in Italy's friendly against Ireland right before the World Cup, but he was dropped by Cesare Prandelli when the final cuts were made.
Assuming he can stay healthy, he's a lock to start for the Azzurri.
Italy's lack of a consistent No. 9 was one of the reasons why they failed at the World Cup.
Mario Balotelli and Ciro Immobile were sloppy and wasteful. Mattia Destro was an alternative, but he's also one of those who didn't make the final cut for Brazil.
Destro suffered a major knee injury that kept him out of action for more than half the season.
Since his return with Roma, he netted 13 goals in only 14 league starts, which is a fantastic figure for the young forward.
Domenico Criscito was Italy's left-back of choice before being phased out by Cesare Prandelli.
The marauding left-footed full-back could have helped Italy out, as he's just as adept going forward as he is tracking back and defending.
He has a considerable amount of pace and has been the starter for Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg for consecutive seasons.
It will be interesting to see if Italy's new coach decides to incorporate the 27-year-old defender into the squad.
The 19-year-old Berardi is undoubtedly the future of Italian football.
The youngster had 16 goals for Sassuolo this past season, when he showed just how big of a promise he could be.
The left-footed player is a modern attacking threat who has clinical finishing ability as well as plenty of pace and creative instinct.
He could be deployed in an attacking trident for Italy alongside the likes of Giuseppe Rossi and Stephan El Shaarawy—giving the Azzurri a multidimensional offensive unit capable of brilliance.