The Azzurri coach believes the Paris Saint-Germain teenager can become a leading star on the continent and admits he inherited a world-class midfield
The Paris Saint-Germain teenager has featured for the Azzurri and Prandelli feels the 19-year-old has the potential to become one of the most complete players on the continent, once he becomes a regular for the national team.
“He can become one of the best midfielders in Europe, but he needs international experience first,” Prandelli told French website Zonemixte.fr.
“The strange thing is that we’re happy no Italian clubs signed him, because that way the lad can gain international experience in France and the Champions League.
“He is a talent who perhaps should’ve been protected and dealt with differently. I am happy for him, as he has great character for someone so young.”
Prandelli also claimed he made the midfield area the focal point of his side after taking over the reins from Marcelo Lippi in 2010.
“When we started this adventure two years ago, we realised Italy had a very strong midfield and on top of those three (Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo and Danielle De Rossi) had someone like Thiago Motta or Riccardo Montolivo.
“This is why we tried to build around that area of the side. We have many attacking midfielders who don’t give reference points.”
The Azzurri currently top Group B after taking 10 points from their first four games in their World Cup qualifying campaign.