Playing in Italy means you have to be at a very high tactical level.
However, Gareth Southgate’s appeals show that the England manager has no great interest in Italian football at all, despite the fact that Serie A has revived several talents too quickly forgotten by the Premier League.
The most striking case is the repeated and almost punitive expulsion from the England national team of Serie A protagonists Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham.
Both were sacked too quickly by Chelsea and recently celebrated European milestones with their Italian clubs AC Milan and Roma, respectively, making it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and Europa League.
Both deserve more attention, also for their contribution to AC Milan and Roma’s results in recent months.
The feeling in Italy is that Southgate sees Italian football as a minor, second-tier sport, incapable of adequately coaching players.
An inexplicable prejudice, also because Tomori helped eliminate Tottenham from Antonio Conte and Harry Kane, proving that he plays for a club that, thanks to constant work, has proven itself day after day.
Southgate could be clearer with the players and invite them to return to Britain so as not to miss out on the England national team.
Still, both Tomori and Abraham have improved as footballers and understood the tactical aspects to improve.
Italy has always been considered a breeding ground for top players like Zinedine Zidane, built at Juventus and dominant at Real Madrid, but Southgate may have different ideas and don’t appreciate Italian football.
Italian football should not be viewed by Southgate as the most extreme periphery, where players who have been rejected by the Premier League are being held.
The England manager should be more open to new solutions, it would be necessary to update the databases, to travel more to observe the exponential growth of a league that has brought three teams like Napoli, Inter and Milan back to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
At the moment it is very likely that Southgate missed the opportunity to give a second chance to players that England could have bet with greater satisfaction.
Tomori in Italy has found a perfect tactical and technical dimension to become a top player.
He is aggressive in physical interventions and has shown himself to be very intelligent in the three-way defense used by Stefano Pioli.
The AC Milan manager has always relied on the physical strength of his leader, whom Chelsea sent away too quickly due to Thomas Tuchel’s poor technical reports.
Tomori was convinced he would be called up by Southgate and that disappointment will be a psychological blow for the defender – which Pioli needs to work hard on.
So far this season he has made 23 appearances and scored one goal for AC Milan and has never been ruled out of the starting XI due to a technical decision.
Tomori has impressed in the Champions League alongside Pierre Kalulu, who has also been left out of the France team.
The defender is among the players present at the England team’s training camp.
However, AC Milan fans are rejoicing because they will have a rested and mentally fresh player for the final Serie A season – although the player is growing sadder at yet another undeserved exclusion.
Abraham, meanwhile, has suffered from the exponential growth of Ivan Toney, who has the advantage of scoring more goals than the Roma striker, and that’s in the Premier League.
The Brentford striker has scored 16 goals, while Abraham has netted just six goals in two games more than Southgate’s preferred striker.
This year’s results are not outstanding for Abraham, but again his exit from England appears to have an environmental, not a technical, origin.
Abraham will never be Harry Kane’s heir, but he deserves more attention, including for the courage he had to choose an adventure abroad.
Unlike Tomori, Abraham knew he didn’t stand many chances of being called up by the England team, but his presence on Southgate’s long list would certainly have guaranteed a growing sense of self-esteem for a striker enduring a year of uncertainties and fears .
Roma is a wonderful city with a team that hasn’t won the Scudetto in 23 years and has changed hands in recent years.
Abraham had an exceptional first year and is now suffering terribly from coach Jose Mourinho’s tactics.
Mourinho is Abraham’s coach and the decision not to bring in Tammy seems an affront to the work of the Special One, which has often improved young players.