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5 players who could make their debut soon for Italy

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1.02K   //    27 Nov 2017, 21:54 IST

Italy U19 v Turkey U19 - International Friendly
Italy's future looks bright despite the senior team missing out on World Cup qualification

Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 is likely to bring about a much-needed rejuvenation of the national team squad. With the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Daniele de Rossi announcing their retirements, places have opened up for the next generation of players coming through.

The identity of Italy’s next head coach is, as of yet, unknown, but it is highly likely the new man will be in place prior to the friendly against England in March. That match will provide the opportunity to begin a new national-team cycle, with new faces set to join the fray.

Here are five players who will make their debuts soon for Italy.

#5 Emerson

SS Lazio v AS Roma - Serie A
Emerson in action for Roma

Emerson was born in Santos, Brazil and turned out for his native national team at Under-17 level as part of the side who won the 2011 South American Under-17 Championship. But in March of this year, he obtained Italian citizenship with the intention of turning out for Italy.

The 23-year-old full-back was called up for Italy’s friendly against San Marino in May, only to be ruled out of contention after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in Roma’s 3-2 win over Genoa on the final day of the Serie A season.

Emerson is soon expected to return to action. If he can regain his previous level, an Italy debut shouldn’t be far off.

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Edward Yap is a London-based sports writer.
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