The Best XI Lineup of Serie A Under-21 Players – Milan Duo Included

For the the die-hard fan, tracking the development of up-and-coming stars is one of the most enjoyable elements of the sport, and luckily for the calcio fanatics, the Italian top tier is currently blessed with a host of exciting young talents who are ready to take the league by storm. From the top Italian teams, all the way to the relegation threatened sides, here are our Best XI youngsters in Serie A this season.

Disclaimer: Although the likes of Matthijs De Ligt, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Nicolò Zaniolo can still be considered “youngsters”,  we decided to limit the list with Under-20 players, which makes the three players mentioned not eligible since they have already celebrated their 21’st birthdays.

Goalkeeper: Stefano Turati (Sassuolo)

Perhaps the least impressive choice on the list. With not a single youngster (U-20) regularly featuring between the posts during the current Serie A campaign , Stefano Turati gets the nod.

The 19-year-old is yet to play a single minute in the league this season, but he’s most remembered for stepping up to deny Juventus last season in a match that ended in a 2-2 draw.

Right-Back: Wilfried Singo (Torino) 

The Ivorian only featured in four matches last season, but during the current campaign, he managed to become a regular starter in Marco Giampaolo’s line-ups.

With his pace, trickery and physical strength, the Torino youngster has become on of the most impressive right wing-backs in Italy, and has so far one Serie A goal and two assists to his name this season.

Center-Back: Marash Kumbulla (Roma)

After rising through the youth ranks at Hellas Verona, Marash Kumbulla enjoyed a sensational breakout season in 2019-2020 under the guidance of Ivan Jurić, helping the Gialloblu to become one of the most solid sides in the league, and earning a move to the Italian capital in the process.

Although the Albanian has been in and out of Roma’s starting formation, his quality at the back is undoubted, and at the tender age of 20, he still has a lot of time ahead of him to improve his game.

Center-Back: Sebastian Walukiewicz (Cagliari)

Here’s one of the best youngsters in Serie A who are rarely mentioned among the rising talents. The Polish man started to regularly feature for the Isolani during the second half of the last campaign.

This season, Walukiewicz has been ever-present at the back for Cagliari, and you can expect the young defender to be a subject of interest for the bigger clubs this summer.

Left-Back: Pierre Kalulu (Milan)

In every fantasy formation, one or more players end up being thrown out of position, and in this case it’s going to be Milan’s rising defender, Pierre Kalulu. The Frenchman is originally a right-back, but since he’s been mostly deployed as an emergency center-back by Stefano Pioli, we’ll assume that the utility player is able to cover as a left-back as well. 

Although the youngster initially struggled against the more experienced Serie A strikers, his talent and flexibility makes him one to keep an eye on for the future.

Central-Midfielder: Ivan Ilić (Hellas Verona)

The Serbian youngster might not stay too long in Serie A, as his loan move from Manchester City will expire by the end of the season. Nonetheless the Verona midfielder has already made himself noticed for his performances with the Gialloblu.

Ilić is able to play as a defensive midfielder, or even in a more advanced role, and in 12 impressive league appearances he managed to score one goal which came against Inter. With his versatile skill-set and strong physical presence, the Serbian is able to follow the footsteps of his compatriot Sergei Milinkovic-Savic.

Central-Midfielder: Sandro Tonali (Milan) 

Sandro Tonali is definitely one of the most exciting young talents in Serie A, even if the new Milan star is struggling to break through the Rossoneri starting line-up.

But for the former Brescia golden-boy, there’s no shame in playing second fiddle for Franck Kessié and Ismael Bennacer – who currently form one the best midfield partnerships in Italy – but the 20-year-old is already showing signs of improvement and is becoming a more regular feature for the league leaders throughout the current injury crisis.

Right Winger: Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus) 

Dejan Kulusevski rose to prominence last season while playing for Parma and earned the best Serie A youngster award for his brilliant displays.

But just like Tonali, the new Juventus star still has some work to do in order to become a mainstay in the starting XI, especially when he’s competing with the likes of Federico Chiesa, Juan Cuadrado and Paulo Dybala. 

However, the young Swede scored the first Bianconeri goal of the season against Sampdoria, and shows flashes of brilliance whenever he participates.

Attacking-Midfielder: Hamed Junior Traorè (Sassuolo)

The second Ivorian on our list. Although his younger brother Amad Diallo has earned a big move to Manchester United, the Sassuolo youngster is not any less impressive than his sibling.

The former Empoli star has featured in various positions all around the midfield, and his playing style combines energy, hard work, dribbling skills and sublime passing. Roberto De Zerbi will have trouble in keeping this one for long.

Left Winger: Mikkel Damsgaard (Sampdoria)

The Danish youngster was a relative unknown, slowly making himself a name at Sampdoria, but then suddenly rose to prominence after his performance against Inter, when he cut his way through four Nerazzurri players to create his side’s second goal.

The talented Dane currently has two goals and three assists in 16 Serie A appearances, and will be looking to extend these numbers as a host of top clubs are reportedly eyeing a move for the youngster.

Striker: Dušan Vlahović (Fiorentina)

Several young forwards currently play their trade in Italy’s top tier, but none of them can get close to the numbers of the formidable Fiorentina striker.

Blessed with strength, pace and a killer’s finish, the Serbian bomber possesses all the elements to become one of the best target-men in the world, and has already scored 6 vital goals during the current campaign for the struggling Viola.

Bench: Matteo Lovato (Verona),  Nicolò Rovella (Genoa), Lucien Agoumé (Spezia), Ebrima Colley (Verona), Eddie Salcedo (Verona).