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“Really good” – Chelsea handed pre-season assessment of 20-year-old by National Team manager



(Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images)

Roberto Mancini has lauded Chelsea midfielder Cesare Casadei and believes the Italian should be playing at a higher level for his country.

The 20-year-old is currently with the Italy Under-20 setup in Argentina for the Under-20 World Cup, which has seen him captain his country to the final of the tournament.

Casadei, who spent the 2022/23 season at Championship side Reading, was bought by Chelsea last summer in a deal worth £12 million plus £4 million in add-ons from Inter Milan.

He will return to Cobham next month as new head coach Mauricio Pochettino assesses and makes his final decisions over who will and won’t be part of his squad next season.

READ MORE: Cesare Casadei gives Mauricio Pochettino Chelsea selection decision after impressive U20 World Cup

Casadei’s focus, though, for now is the Under-20 World Cup after Italy booked their spot in Sunday’s final against Uruguay following a 2-1 win over South Korea.

‘The Chelsea midfielder opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Casadei’s shot from the edge of the box managed to find its way past several South Korea defenders to net his seventh goal of the tournament, putting him in pole position to win both the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament awards.

South Korea levelled the game nine minutes later through Lee Seung-won, but four minutes from time Italy bagged the winner to progress into the final. Substitute Simone Pafundi’s free-kick from the edge of the box found the top corner to send Italy into jubilation.

Chelsea aren’t the only ones who will be impressed with captain Casadei’s performance for the Azzurrini. Italy national team Roberto Mancini, prior to Thursday’s semi-final, hailed Casadei and insisted if he wasn’t with the Under-20 setup then he’d be with the Under-21s.

As quoted by Football Italia, Mancini said: “Cesare Casadei is really good. He had already impressed me during a stage at Coverciano.

“He went to England and played in the Championship, a tough and formative league, almost like the Premier League. If it wasn’t for the U20 World Cup, he would be playing in the U21 already.”