The fullback position is by far the most difficult in football, requiring significant stamina, tactical awareness and intelligence. For years the fullbacks of AC Milan were front and center for the Italian National Team. Tassotti and Maldini, Maldini and Zambrotta, Maldini and Maldini!?? We can wish. The point is Milan has had an impact in this position and there is a potential to do it again this year.
Abate and DeSciglio are two of the only remaining Rossoneri players with Balotelli following Montolivo's injury. The fullbacks can play together, and while a Coach the "caliber" of Clarence Seedorf didn't seem to see that, others have. Those that have have been rewarded with a good smart left fullback and a bombing right fullback. What Abate gives you in attack DeSciglio gives you in balance. DeSciglio can work the inner channel giving SES a chance to roam in he wider channel while Abate can give you the entirety of width, now I agree this in strictly for AC Milan. As for Italy, it depends on formation.
Neither is a true wingback in the most historical of sense. Abate can certainly do it, but if you thing fullback is tough wing backs requires and begs only for the finest athletes in the game. DeSciglio could be exposed but could do it so if Prandelli opts for the 3-5-2 my Red and Black fullback gets challenged, but a conventional four at the back and you would be hard pressed to find a better set of fullbacks on the roster. Oddly enough one of the other options is Darmian a former Milan man himself and while Prandelli's final 23 hints more at a 3-5-2, it will be interesting to see what the final choice will be.