Italy coach Ventura calls up 4 new players to squad

MILAN: Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has called up four new players to his squad for upcoming matches against Albania and the Netherlands.

Bologna winger Simone Verdi, Atalanta defender Leonardo Spinazzola, Inter Milan defender Danilo D'Ambrosio and goalkeeper Alex Meret, who plays for Serie B side Spal, have been included for the first time.

Inter Milan midfielder Roberto Gagliardini and Sassuolo winger Matteo Politano could also make their debuts, having been unused substitutes in previous matches.

There is still no place for Mario Balotelli but Manolo Gabbiadini has been recalled after impressing since his move to Southampton.

Ventura originally named a squad of 25 players but added Verdi and Politano after being informed that Federico Bernardeschi had picked up an injury problem on Saturday morning. The Fiorentina winger will still go to Italy's training camp on the outskirts of Florence.

Italy, which is level on points with Spain at the top of Group G, plays Albania in Palermo on Friday in a World Cup qualifier.

The Azzurri then travel to the Netherlands for a friendly international on Tuesday.


Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Alex Meret (Spal).

Defenders: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Danilo D'Ambrosio (Inter), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan) Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Leonardo Spinazzola (Atalanta), Davide Zappacosta (Torino).

Midfielders: Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Inter Milan), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Matteo Politano (Sassuolo), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain), Nicola Sansone (Villareal), Simone Verdi (Bologna).

Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Eder (Inter Milan), Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton), Ciro Immobile (Lazio)