Head coach Luciano Spalletti has begun moves to integrate Fiorentina youngster Michael Kayode into the Italian national team setup, Soccernet.ng reports.
Born in Borgomanero, Italy, to Nigerian parents, Kayode is eligible to play for the European giants and the former African champions.
The young defender has already played for Italy’s U19, though, featuring in 12 games since making his debut last year.
The highlight of his career came in July this year when he scored the winning goal in the final as Italy beat Portugal 1-0 to lift the 2023 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.
Making the step up from the juniors to senior football is not always easy for teenagers, but Kayode was not fazed when the opportunity arose.
Fiorentina promoted the 19-year-old to their senior squad ahead of the 2023/24 Serie A season, and he was handed his full debut in the away game against Genoa.
Kayode delivered an impressive performance that earned the applause of many as Fiorentina handed Genoa a 1-4 thrashing away from home.
His high ratings have raised the attention of Nigerians towards the young full-back, especially as he remains eligible for the Super Eagles.
But things may change soon as Kayode’s display has also caught the attention of new national team coach Spalletti.
According to Napoli Magazine, the former Napoli manager has started observing Kayode with a view to inviting him to the national team.
While Italy are favourites to win the commitment of Kayode, the Super Eagles will not miss him should he decide to play for the Europeans.
The three-time African champions are well-stocked in the right-back department, with Nottingham Forest’s Ola Aina, Empoli’s Tyronne Ebuehi, Fenerbahce’s Bright Osayi-Samuel, and Boavista’s Chidozie Awaziem all quality options.
The duo of Aina and Ebuehi are presently in Uyo with the Super Eagles ahead of Nigeria’s final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Sao Tome and Principe.