Italy midfielder Manuel Locatelli started Euro 2020 as a replacement for injured Marco Verratti but the once-promising youngster who fell out of favour with former club AC Milan has finally come of age.

The 23-year-old’s impressive brace in a 3-0 win over Switzerland midweek helped the Azzurri book their last-16 berth with a game to spare.

It gives coach Roberto Mancini a welcome selection headache with Verratti targeting a return from a knee injury for the final Group A game against Wales on Sunday.

The coach could be reluctant to make adjustments to a well-tuned engine that has scored six goals in two games and conceded none.

Continue reading this article on SportsDesk, the sports website of the Times of Malta

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