(Reuters) - Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini is eyeing another successful season with the Premier League club as he bids to become a regular member of the Italian national team ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Gabbiadini, who scored four goals in 11 league appearances for Southampton, has six caps for Italy since his debut in 2012 and is hoping to emulate former Saints’ striker Graziano Pelle, who became a national team regular after excelling in the league.
The 25-year-old, who missed three games for Southampton due to a groin injury, has been named in manager Gian Piero Ventura’s squad for the friendly against Uruguay on Wednesday and the World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein on Sunday.
“I hope it will be a big season,” Gabbiadini said.
”Apart from when I was injured I have always been a part of the new Italy manager’s team.
“So I hope I will be able to go, as long as I keep scoring and doing well for Southampton, I‘m sure I’ll achieve that goal.”
Gabbiadini joined Southampton from Serie A side Napoli in January and felt the league in Italy was more tactical.
”Over here there’s less attention to the defending and more about the attacking the opponents goal on every occasion you get.
“There’s less waiting for the right moment, but just going on the attack and then the other team attack.”
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty