LEONARDO BONUCCI says England are doing a better job at developing young players than Italy.
The AC Milan defender will tonight skipper the Azzurri, who are in disarray having failed to qualify for the World Cup.
Caretaker-boss Luigi Di Biagio, who lost his first game 2-0 against Argentina in Manchester, has named an inexperienced squad.
And ex-Juventus star Bonucci, 30, said: “We can’t be expected to start winning straight away.
“We are playing against a team who are improving.
“They have a talented group of players who are young but have international experience.
“Our team has less experience and the level of Serie A, apart from the top three teams, is not as good as the Premier League.
“You cannot compare our players born in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 to the English ones born in the same years.
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“I don’t think we will grow too fast. Italy starts not from zero, but near zero. Patience is the key.
“It will be hard in the summer, not being at the World Cup. Then, it will hit home. It will hurt.
“Personally, you never stop learning and playing at a World Cup is important for personal growth.”
Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after losing in the play-offs.
Gian Piero Ventura was sacked with Under-21 coach Di Biagio given the job on a temporary basis.
Di Biagio said: “England have a lot of top players, especially from midfield going forward.”
Keeper Gianluigi Buffon, 40, will not play at Wembley with Gianluigi Donnarumma, 19, starting.