Sunderland forward Giaccherini enjoying confidence booster with Italy after disappointing season

Emanuele Giaccherini

Emanuele Giaccherini

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Sunderland forward Emanuele Giaccherini is relishing a welcome boost in confidence following a difficult campaign by being involved in Italy’s training squad.

The Azzurri are preparing for next year’s European Championship and have not given up on Giaccherini, who was limited to just eight Premier League appearances this season because of recurring ankle injuries.

Emanuele Giaccherini

Emanuele Giaccherini

“I will continue to play for Sunderland next season,” Giaccherini told ItalianTV channel Stile Juventus. “I’ve endured a really unfortunate campaign, but to be included in Italy’s training camp makes me really happy.

“I thank (Italy) coach Antonio Conte for his trust and I will give my best to convince him to select me.”

Giaccherini joined the Black Cats from Serie A champions Juventus in the summer of 2013 for £6.5million but has yet to make an impact at the Stadium of Light, where he is under contract until June 2017.

The 30-year-old underwent an ankle operation in February but has fully recovered and is training this week with his national team in Italy’s headquarters in Coverciano, Florence.

Conte will announce the squad for next week’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Croatia in Zagreb by Saturday.