|Full name||Manuel Locatelli|
|Date of birth||8 January 1998|
|Place of birth||Lecco, Italy|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2018–2019||→ Sassuolo (loan)||29||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:13, 24 May 2021 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:45, 16 June 2021 (UTC)
Locatelli represented Italy at senior level internationally, participating at UEFA Euro 2020.
Locatelli began his career with Atalanta, before moving to Milan at the age of 11 years. With the Rossoneri he progressed through each youth category, from Esordienti to Primavera. In March 2015, Locatelli signed his first professional contract with Milan, effective from 1 July 2015 until 30 June 2018.
Locatelli received his first ever call-up to Milan's senior team ahead of the away game against Udinese played on 22 September 2015; he, however, remained an unused substitute. Later that season, he was promoted into the first team by Milan then head coach Siniša Mihajlović. He made his Serie A debut aged 18, on 21 April 2016, replacing Andrea Poli after 87 minutes in a 0−0 home draw against Carpi. On 14 May 2016 he made his debut as a starter, in the last league match of the season against Roma at the San Siro.
He made his season debut in a 1–0 victory over Sampdoria appearing as a second-half substitute. On 2 October 2016, after coming on as a substitute for captain Riccardo Montolivo, Locatelli scored his first Serie A goal with his first ever shot, in a dramatic 4–3 win over Sassuolo. Beginning the season on the bench, Locatelli received his first start of the season on 16 October at Chievo, taking over the deep-lying playmaker role in midfield vacated by Montolivo, who suffered a long-term injury over the international break. On 22 October, Locatelli scored with his second ever Serie A shot on target, the only goal in a rival match against Juventus, a strike with the outside of his right foot that hit the underside of the crossbar, and rifled past keeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Following a series of excellent performances, Locatelli received and accepted the offer to extend his contract until 30 June 2020, with the rise in pay.
Locatelli began the season as a starter in the second leg of Milan's Europa League qualification match against CS U Craiova, playing a vital role in Milan's 2–0 win on 3 August 2017. However, Montolivo's eventual recovery combined with the arrival of Lucas Biglia and frequent changes of formation under Vincenzo Montella started to limit his playing time. In November 2017, Montella was dismissed and replaced by Gennaro Gattuso who also viewed Locatelli as more of a backup for either Biglia or Montolivo than a starting lineup player. He finished the season with only 15 starts (of which only 5 were in Serie A) and 18 sub-ins.
In the summer of 2018, Milan loaned in Tiémoué Bakayoko and suggested that Locatelli joins one of the lower-ranking Serie A teams on loan, preferably without a buy-out option. Locatelli agreed to depart yet submitted a full transfer request, later citing a perceived lack of trust in him from the club as the main reason for his decision. On 13 August 2018, Locatelli transferred to Sassuolo on loan with an obligation to buy. In his debut season for the neroverdi he made 31 appearances and scored 3 goals (against Catania in Coppa Italia and Cagliari and Chievo Verona in Serie A).
Locatelli made his debut with the Italy U21 team on 23 March 2017, in a friendly 2–1 win against Poland. In June 2017, he was included in the Italy under-21 squad for the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship by manager Luigi Di Biagio. Italy were eliminated by Spain in the semi-finals on 27 June, following a 3–1 defeat.
Locatelli made his debut with the senior Italy squad on 7 September 2020, playing as a starter in a 1–0 UEFA Nations League victory against the Netherlands in Amsterdam. On 28 March 2021, Locatelli scored his first goal for Italy, the second of a 2–0 away win over Bulgaria in a 2022 World Cup qualification match.
In June 2021, Locatelli was included in Italy's squad for UEFA Euro 2020 by manager Roberto Mancini. On 16 June, he scored two goals in Italy's second group stage match, a 3–0 win against Switzerland.
Locatelli is primarily deployed as a deep-lying playmaker, primarily operating in a holding role in front of the team's defence, in a position similar to that of his idol Andrea Pirlo, due to his ability to create chances or dictate the tempo of his team's play in midfield with his passing range. A versatile midfielder, he can also play in a box-to-box role, or as a wing-leaning offensive–minded central midfielder in a 4–3–3 formation, alternatively known as the mezzala role in Italian football jargon, although this is not his preferred position; he has occasionally even been used as an attacking midfielder, a position in which he was initially fielded in his youth, before being moved into a deeper midfield role.
While he is not particularly fast, he is an elegant and quick-thinking player, who possesses excellent vision, passing, ball control, technique, and dribbling skills, as well as a powerful and accurate shot from long range. His reading of the game, defensive work-rate, tactical intelligence, and ball-winning abilities are also optimal for a defensive midfielder. His playing style has been compared to that of Argentine midfielder Fernando Redondo, but with more of an offensive mindset, due to his ability to make late attacking runs off the ball from behind; he has also been likened to other playmakers such as Xavi, Zinedine Zidane, and Demetrio Albertini.[a] Considered to be a promising young player, in 2015 The Guardian named him one of the 50 best young players in the world who were born in 1998.
|Sassuolo (loan)||2018–19||Serie A||29||2||2||1||—||—||31||3|
|1||28 March 2021||Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria||Bulgaria||2–0||2–0||2022 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2||16 June 2021||Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy||Switzerland||1–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 2020|
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-06-25 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=50267211