‘Every reason in the world to feel special’: Media laud Tottenham-linked star after Euro 2020 display
Tottenham Hotspur target Manuel Locatelli was lauded by his national media after the Sassuolo midfielder played a starring role as Italy beat Switzerland at Euro 2020.
Italy became the first side to secure their progression from the group stage by beating Switzerland on Wednesday. Roberto Mancini’s side registered back-to-back 3-0 wins after beating Turkey on the opening day with another commanding display in Rome.
Locatelli scored his nation’s first and second goals either side of half time in equally sublime fashion. The 23-year-old broke the deadlock after 26-minutes by waltzing his way into the box unmarked to finish a move he started.
The Sassuolo star later secured a first international brace in his 12th-cap, fizzing a strike past Yann Sommer from the edge of the area in the 52nd-minute. Locatelli’s efforts will, no doubt, have caught the eye of the growing list of clubs courting his services.
Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Juventus and Chelsea have long coveted Locatelli, per Gazzetta dello Sport. Real Madrid also sounded out his situation, while Arsenal are following him closely. Tottenham, too, joined his list of suitors after appointing Fabio Paratici as their new Managing Director of Football.
Each club’s talent spotters will have reported glowing endorsements of Locatelli after Italy beat Switzerland. And they would not be alone, with TuttoMercatoWEB lauding his Man of the Match display.
“The immodest Manuel Locatelli has every reason in the world to feel special,” they wrote. “It was as a boy, to then impact with reality. It has been for two years – it is tonight. Two extraordinary goals: he is not ready for the big leap. It is already in flight.”
TBR’s view: Locatelli would be a dream for Tottenham
Locatelli would be a dream signing for Tottenham or any of their rival suitors for the Italy star. His Euro 2020 performance was a showcase of what the Sassuolo midfielder can offer any side in a box-to-box role.
Locatelli occupied more of a deep-lying central midfield role in the Serie A last season to pull Sassuolo’s strings. He delivered composed performances most weeks and lead at the Mapei Stadium, while offering an occasional goal threat.
The former AC Milan prospect offered four goals and three assists over 34 league outings last term. But could now be on the move, with Sassuolo demanding an outright €40million (£34m) that Juventus would have preferred to meet by including players.
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