Kean left out of Italy squad as punishment
Moise Kean has been left out of the Italy squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers after arriving late to a team meeting, head coach Roberto Mancini has revealed.
The Everton striker and Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo will play no part in games against Armenia and Finland in the coming fortnight, with Mancini saying "professionals must always behave well".
Kean's omission from the Italy squad comes after Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness criticised the 19-year-old's character, suggesting his "off-the-field activities are not the best".
Both Kean and Zaniolo have both previously impressed on duty with the senior team, but arrived late to camp for the Euro Under-21 Championships earlier this summer.
Alex Iwobi celebrates his goal with Moise KeanGetty Images
Speaking at his press conference on Tuesday, Mancini said: "My team is already quite defined.
“If any interesting new faces came forward, we’d make them available to us. We’ll see what happens between now and the start of the European Championship.
“Here we are with the players who have been called up. If someone sensational breaks out, we’d gladly call them up.
" I’m sure they'll [Kean and Zaniolo] come in handy later on. I don’t like leaving them behind as punishment. They’re still young."
“We gave them a great opportunity and we hope this helps them going forward. They must learn to behave well. Professionals must always behave well."
Moise Kean has been left out of the Italy squadGetty Images
Kean completed a summer switch to Everton from Juventus for an initial £27.5m - a relatively cheap fee for one of the most highly-regarded young strikers in Europe.
Speaking on Super Sunday, Souness said: "At 19, why have they sold him? Personally, slight alarm bells are going off in my head. Juventus are arguably the biggest club in Italy, the wealthiest club in Italy.
" Given that they’ve got an older strike force, you’re selling a 19-year-old who won’t be hurting you wage-wise, they’ve not got £100 plus for him, so I think there must be other issues there. "
"Do they have a buy-back clause, Juve? Because if they’ve not got that, that would tell you they’re happy to see him out the door then. At 19, it doesn’t make any common sense if you’re Juventus. It’s as if maybe his off-the-field activities are not the best.”
Graeme Souness had been critical of KeanPA Sport
Italy squad to face Armenia and Finland
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Danilo D’Ambrosio (Inter), Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Armando Izzo (Torino), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Luca Pellegrini (Cagliari), Alessio Romagnoli (Milan);
Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Shangai Shenhua), Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Kevin Lasagna (Udinese).