West Ham star Gianluca Scamacca looks set to lose his Italy place as hype builds around new kid on the block Mateo Retegui.
Scamacca’s debut season with West Ham has not worked out for him or the club thus far.
He has been an unused substitute in West Ham’s last four Premier League games.
And Hammers boss David Moyes has publicly criticised the striker’s output in training leading to rumours of a falling out between the pair and suggestions the player is a bad apple – something the Scot flatly denied last week.
Scamacca did start – and score – in the easy win over Larnaca in the Europa Conference League last Thursday night.
West Ham star Gianluca Scamacca looks set to lose Italy place as hype builds around new kid on the block Mateo Retegui
But he was substituted after just 55 minutes sparking further criticism of Moyes, who had to defend his decision after the game.
Last week Azzurri boss Roberto Mancini sent a clear message to Moyes over the Scamacca situation.
He told the Scot the striker cannot improve if he doesn’t play.
When Scamacca arrived at West Ham from Sassuolo for £35m in the summer he was billed as the future of the national side by Mancini.
He started when Italy played England earlier this season and now the two countries will meet again in Euro 2024 qualifying on Thursday night.
But West Ham star Scamacca looks set to lose his Italy place as hype builds around new kid on the block Retegui.
Italy boss Mancini is so concerned about the country’s dearth of striker talent he has used the ‘Irish granny rule’ made famous by Jack Charlton to land new striker Retegui from Argentina.
Mancini has defended the use of the rule to call on the forward and bemoaned his lack of striker options (Yahoo Sport).
Retegui is 23 years old, born in Argentina and scoring goals for Club Atletico Tigre on loan from Boca Juniors, but nowhere near the thoughts of World Cup-winning boss Lionel Scaloni, who called up 33 players for friendlies against the Central American might of Panama and Curacao.
He qualifies to represent the Azzurri through an Italian grandmother and Mancini is expected to hand him his debut against the Three Lions.
With Napoli star Giacomo Raspadori absent and the lack of game time for Scamacca at West Ham, there is clamour in Italy for Retegui to get his chance.
So much so Italian media outlets have been following his every move since his arrival in the Azzurri training camp.
Football Italia watched Italy training and noted that Retegui was used as the lone striker in tactical practice sessions.
The site believes that is a big nod to the fact West Ham star Scamacca will be on the bench against Declan Rice’s England.