Italy coach Spalletti considers handing debut to another defender of Nigerian descent after Udogie 

Published: October 28, 2023
Italy coach Spalletti considers handing debut to another defender of Nigerian descent after Udogie 

Italy national team coach Luciano Spalletti is reportedly considering handing a debut to another defender of Nigerian descent after Tottenham Hotspur star Destiny Udogie. 


Verona-born Udogie is two caps away from becoming cap-tied to his country of birth, Italy after he was given minutes in the 2024 European Championship qualifiers against Malta and England this month.


According to  La Gazzetta Dello Sport via Football Italia, Spalletti has been scouting new players to include in the national team and among the players that interest him is Fiorentina's Italy U21 international of Nigerian descent, Michael Kayode. 


Kayode was on the radar of Spalletti before the European Championship qualifiers in October but was ultimately left out of the roster. 


The Italy boss has been monitoring the Fiorentina starlet ahead of decisive matches in the Euro qualifiers against North Macedonia and Ukraine in November. 


The chances of Kayode getting his first-ever call-up to Italy senior's squad for next month's games are slim as the defender suffered a bad ankle injury in the Europa Conference League meeting with FK Cukaricki on Thursday, leading to his substitution in the eighth minute.


Kayode has seen his stock rise after some impressive displays for Italy at the 2023 European U19 Championship, where he scored the game-winning goal in the showpiece against Portugal and was deployed in multiple positions. 


The 19-year-old has broken into Fiorentina's first team, making nine appearances across all competitions this  term, and earned his first call-up to Italy's U21 national team in September. 




Ifeanyi Emmanuel 



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