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Why Antonio Conte should take Giovinco to France

Thursday 26th May 2016
Italian head coach Antonio Conte announced his 30- man squad this week and there were a couple of notable omissions.

Guiseppe Rossi's name wasn't on the list, whilst it comes as no surprise to see Mario Balotelli will be spending this summer at home. Andrea Pirlo was always likely to miss out with Conte declaring only a loan spell in Serie A would put him back in contention. But, Giovinco was expected by many to feature.

Of course, the 30 will become 23 at the end of the month, but it seems unlikely the diminutive frontman will receive a late call.

When pressed on the issue, Conte replied 'We'll use the group which got us here'. But, there is clearly an anti-MLS element to his selections. "You go to play out there, you pay the consequences in football terms" backs up the theory of his disdain towards the league.

The former Juventus striker has been a sensation since moving to the MLS. Whilst, his personal misfortune is Toronto FC's gain, it's a shame not to see a player as unpredictable as Giovinco on the big stage this summer.

He's been directly involved in 13 of Toronto's 14 goals this season. He won last season's golden boot and is revered in the City. The fans chant his name and the amount of 'Giovinco' branded shirts around BMO field is noticeable.

He gives a team something different and can create a chance out of nothing.

I'm not suggesting he should be a designated starter, but bring him on with 20 minutes to go and he has the pace and determination to hassle tiring defenders and change the game.

Eder and Graziano Pelle look like the first choice strikers, but Giovinco has electric pace and many of Europe's defenders are unfamiliar with his presence. Zaza and Immobile are other options in the striking department, but none of them get the pulse racing.

Giovinco's goal against Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday 15th May was sublime, keeping the ball under close control, turning and finding the corner. He is majestic at times.

Many of the Azzurri's squad are coming off the back of tiring European campaigns whereas Giovinco is just two months into his season and is raring to go. He's only 29 and he's a bundle of energy.

Critics may point towards the standard of defending in the MLS (which is gradually improving), but Giovinco is a different class. He has the confidence to beat any centre-back, regardless of the standard and will not give up a lost cause.

There has been an outcry in response to Giovinco's absence with many pointing towards the fact that Conte doesn't like the MLS, but many Italian fans want to see something different in offensive areas and Giovinco definitely offers that.

Italy might win the tournament at a canter without the Toronto FC frontman, but I believe Conte should have given Giovinco a chance to impress in France. It's Conte's final hurrah as Italian head coach and a few more risks could have been taken by the departing boss.
Jack Critchley
Blackpool fan who enjoys a spot of the football league. I follow Championship through to League Two.

Total articles: 18

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