Ten Serie A Players Who Are Underachieving, Including Roma and Milan Stars

Last week, we recognized six Serie A stars who are defying their odds with their great exploits since the start of the current campaign. But for every radiating player, there has been at least one star who hasn’t been able to hit stride this term. So let’s take a look at ten Serie A players are are underachieving this season and see if they can turn the tide in their favor following the lengthy winter break.

NB: The list only includes players who have mostly been available for selection rather those who have missed a large chunk of the action with injuries.

10- Charles De Ketelaere (Milan)

Perhaps it’s our fault for putting such large expectations on a young player who’s yet to play in a top league, but the major hype that accompanied the Belgian’s arrival to Milan was somewhat inevitable taking into consideration his immense talent and hefty transfer fee.

The 21-year has only contributed with a single assist in his first 13 Serie A outings, with the majority coming off the bench.

But despite the slow start, the former Club Brugge star remains one of the most exciting young talents in European football.

9- Francesco Caputo (Sampdoria)

From a youngster trying to make a name for himself, to a veteran who appears to be entering the final chapters of his playing days.

Truth to be told, the entire Sampdoria squad deserves a mention as a collective, but on the individual level, we expected a lot more from Ciccio Caputo who has been on a sharp decline since making the move to the Luigi Ferraris Stadium.

8- Andrea Belotti (Roma)

While Caputo’s struggles are somewhat understandable due his age and the poor level of service he’s receiving, Andrea Belotti’s shortcomings are significantly more puzzling.

At the age of 28, Il Gallo is supposedly at the peak of his powers, yet, he seems to be a shadow of his former vibrant self. The former Torino captain is yet to score a league goal since landing in the capital.

Before signing for Roma, the Italian was an almost forgotten figure on the free agent market, and while some had expected him to reignite his career in a new and exciting environment, his summer switch is yet to trigger a career revival.

7- Gianluca Caprari (Monza)

Last season, Gianluca Caprari was one of the finest players in Serie A, combining with Giovanni Simeone and Antonin Barak to form a deadly attacking trio at Verona.

But aside from a spectacular volley against his former club Sampdoria, the 29-year-old’s performances have been lackluster since moving to Monza.

Let’s see if he can take his game up a notch in January.

6- Juan Cuadrado (Juventus)

While the last campaigns were largely underwhelming for Juventus, Juan Cuadrado took it upon himself to keep the flame alive. His heroics were decisive in sealing back-to-back Top four finishes.

But this season, the Colombian’s performances have visibly dropped. Perhaps father time is finally catching up with the 34-year-old, and surely having to do extra shifts amid the club’s injury crisis hasn’t helped.

Maybe we’ll see a refreshed version of La Vespa following a long and well-deserved winter break.

5- Rafael Leao (Milan)

First, let’s make one thing clear, Rafael Leao remains one of the best players in Serie A – if not the very best – and surely is one of the most explosive wide players on the continent.

But after ending the last campaign as the league’s official MVP, the expectations have been at their highest, while the Portuguese is coming out just short.

The 23-year-old now has five league goals and as many assists to his name, but aside from his heroics in the Milan Derby and a couple of strong outings against Empoli and Bologna, there were several occasions where the Rossoneri needed their talisman to be at his best, but he couldn’t quite deliver.

So while Leao surely remains a beast in his own right, Milan fans are still waiting to witness the unplayable version form last season.

4- Duvan Zapata (Atalanta)

These days, Duvan Zapata seems to be a shadow of his former self. At the age of 31, one would expect the former Napoli striker to be at the top of his game. But perhaps injuries have taken their toll on his body.

This season, the Colombian has only scored a single goal after being reduced to a benchwarmer at Gian Piero Gasperini’s court.

Unless his form dramatically improves in the second half of the season, this should surely be his final campaign in Bergamo.

3- Robin Gosens (Inter)

Another player who hasn’t been the same since returning from a long layoff. Last January, we all agreed that Inter had struck gold when they bought Robin Gosens from Atalanta.

Nonetheless, the German hasn’t been able to cement himself a starting spot, as his mediocre performances hardly provide a threat for the ever-improving Federico Dimarco.

The wingback recently missed out on a spot in Germany’s World Cup squad, so it remains to be seen how he’ll bounce back from this devastating morale blow.

2- Tammy Abraham (Roma)

Here’s another player whose recent uninspiring performances cost him a trip to Qatar.

After swiftly winning the hearts of the Roman fanbase with some exhilarating displays on his debut campaign in Italy, Tammy Abraham is struggling to replicate the same feat this term.

The 25-year-old has only scored three Serie A goals thus far this season, while repeatedly frustrating José Mourinho with missed sitters.

1- Ruslan Malinovskyi (Atalanta)

After cementing himself as one of the finest attacking midfielders in Serie A, the Ukrainian’s declining form has been both shocking and severe. The 29-year-old has suddenly lost his starting spot, his coach’s esteem and even his glamorous touch.

It appears that his future lies away from the Gewiss Stadium, and this could be the optimal solution for both parties at this point.

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