SUNDERLAND winger Emanuele Giaccherini has been left out of the Italy squad for the summer’s World Cup.
Italy boss Cesare Prandelli today named an initial 30-man squad for next summer’s tournament and Giaccherini was one of the more notable absentees, while there was no place for Sunderland’s on-loan Liverpool forward Fabio Borini either.
There has been speculation in Italy over the last few weeks that Giaccherini’s place was under threat after starting just one Premier League game since New Year’s Day.
The 29-year-old has continued to be a regular in the Italy squad since joining Sunderland from Juventus in a £6.5million deal last summer.
But Giaccherini has fallen at the final hurdle after paying the price for playing a bit-part role during the second half of the season, albeit he made a key contribution from the bench during Sunderland’s escape from relegation.
It leaves Jozy Altidore as the only player on Sunderland’s books who is likely to appear at the World Cup, albeit Ki Sung-Yueng, who spent the season on loan at the Stadium of Light, is in the South Korea squad.
Altidore was yesterday included in the initial 30-man USA squad and is expected to make the cut for the final party of 23.
While Altidore netted just once in the Premier League during his maiden campaign on Wearside, he has continued to find the net on the international stage and USA boss Jurgen Klinsmann has hinted that the 24-year-old will head to Brazil.
“We coaches are looking forward to having him in camp and having our influence into the next step and we believe that Jozy can play a very big World Cup,” said Klinsmann.
“Obviously he has to work the next couple of weeks to confirm our trust, which we think he will absolutely do.
“But I think he is still a player to be developed; he is not there yet.”