(Reuters) - Italy coach Roberto Mancini included three uncapped players in a 30-man squad as the Euro 2020 champions look to kick off their qualifying campaign for the 2024 tournament against England and Malta later this month.
Lecce goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone, Torino defender Alessandro Buongiorno and Atletico Tigre striker Mateo Retegui were all named in the national squad for the first time, bringing Mancini's total number of players called up for Italy to 102.
"We've been following Retegui for a while, he’s been playing regularly in the Argentine league for two seasons. He has qualities that we currently lack," Mancini said.
Mancini, however, faces a headache when it comes to choosing strikers as Ciro Immobile is out injured while Napoli's Giacomo Raspadori and Gianluca Scamacca of West Ham United have lacked playing time.
"Raspadori is an important player for us but he doesn’t play much. Scamacca is coming from an injury and doesn’t play much either. The lads can improve only if they play."
Scamacca was included in the squad while Raspadori was left out.
Italy will host England in Naples on Thursday and then travel to Malta on March 26.
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma, Wladimiro Falcone, Alex Meret, Ivan Provedel.
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi, Leonardo Bonucci, Alessandro Buongiorno, Matteo Darmian, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Federico Dimarco, Alessio Romagnoli, Giorgio Scalvini, Leonardo Spinazzola, Rafael Toloi.
Midfielders: Nicolo Barella, Bryan Cristante, Davide Frattesi, Jorginho, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Matteo Pessina, Sandro Tonali, Marco Verratti.
Attackers: Domenico Berardi, Federico Chiesa, Wilfried Gnonto, Vincenzo Grifo, Simone Pafundi, Matteo Politano, Mateo Retegui, Gianluca Scamacca.