Once dubbed an old men’s league, Serie A changed its face in recent years. Few things in football are as exciting as watching footballing talents turning into stars in front of our eyes. We’re witnessing a number of growing talents flourishing within the league in this 2019-2020 Season. Nothing highlights the rising talents as much as the names on our list, who could become the leaders of the league very soon.
Almost a synonym for rising star this season is Parma’s loanee Dejan Kulusevski. Born in 2000, the 19-year old Swede is leading the Gialloblu to the safety of mid-table with his incredible feel for the game. Big players tend to be judged based on their effect on their teammates. Well, Kulusevski makes everyone in Parma better without a shadow of a doubt. Three goals and five assists are great numbers for such a young player, but they don’t reflect Kulusevski’s biggest strength – his playmaking ability. Even though statistics can often show the wrong picture, that’s not the case with the Swedish talent who makes 2.4 key passes per match, the fifth best average in the league. He complements his great vision and passing by being a great dribbler, which allows him to fully control the pace of Parma’s offense when in phase of possession.
However, Kulusevski should work on keeping better control of the ball, as he tends to lose it quite often. Still, there is an explanation for that, as opposition defenses tend to focus on stopping him rather than his teammates, as he’s the focal point of almost every Parma attack.
Atalanta’s midfielder on loan in the Emilian city won’t stay there for long. Top Italian clubs are already seriously scouting the playmaker, and Juventus and Inter could have another big battle – this time off the pitch – as they both seem to be wanting to acquire Dejan Kulusevski.
Sassuolo’s offensive line is delivering as usual. Among them, however, and unlike last season where he was mostly an impulse from the bench, Jeremie Boga promoted himself into the Neroverdi’s most creative outlet.
Even though Boga showed flashes of talent in the previous campionato, the consistency wasn’t there and he finished the 2018-19 season with just three goals to his name. This year, however, it’s another story, with the Frenchman already netting five, including a stunning chip against Italian legend Gigi Buffon. Boga’s low center of gravity at 172 cm of height allows him to get past the opposition with ease at all times, and his great close control mixed with speed makes him the best dribbler of Serie A this season with 3.7 successful dribbles per match.
Sassuolo must be thankful for Boga’s progress, given that Domenico Berardi is also flourishing off of the Frenchman’s creativity as the duo looks deadly each time they surge forward.
Encouraging signs of improvement for Boga are there, and his value should only rise as the season goes on. The best clubs will undoubtedly keep him on their radar as they could all use a creative speedster who’s also no stranger to scoring.
Not all sensations are early bloomers, as some take a long time before their talent comes to light. Such is Joao Pedro, Cagliari’s deadliest scorer who has been torturing Serie A defenders week in and week out, all while leading his team to a sensational fourth place, above the likes of Roma, Atalanta, and Napoli.
What fascinates most about the Brazilian midfielder this season isn’t just the 9 goals scored in 14 appearances. It rather is his efficiency. Cagliari’s striker only takes 1.9 shots per match, as you’ll almost never see him waste possession or make an illogical choice. Compare this to the league’s other top guns – Cristiano Ronaldo with 6 per match, Mario Balotelli at 4.6, Domenico Berardi and Lautaro Martinez with 4.3. They all have one thing in common: They scored less than Joao Pedro, who is the league’s third-best cannoniere behind such established stars as Ciro Immobile and Romelu Lukaku.
Aside from his goal scoring prowess, Joao Pedro is showing another area of strength this season in the form of consistently winning aerial battles and laying off the ball to his teammates. Cagliari always have a reliable option in using him as a target-man when everything else fails.
Fiorentina continue with their tradition of giving the spotlight to young Italian talents. After Federico Bernardeschi and Federico Chiesa, who have already established themselves as key players with the Azzurri, it’s now time for Gaetano Castrovilli to steal the stage.
The 22-year old midfielder featured in all but one of the Viola’s matches this season. Castrovili’s incredible body balance and tidy ball control allow him to keep hold of the ball in the tightest situations. This is very important when the team is pressed high, as Castrovilli is pressing-resistant, thanks to his quick feet and great ball-shielding skills.
However, dribbles and solo plays aren’t the only reason why Castrovilli made it to this list. The Italian also has an awesome balance, putting almost perfect weight in the pass almost every time he sends the ball forward. Watching Castrovilli, you’d have a hard time concluding which one is his dominant foot, given that his dribbling doesn’t seem to suffer even when he surges forward with his nominally weaker left foot.
Gaetano Castrovilli’s elite skill is that you get the feeling he plays in slow motion. The midfielder is constantly scanning the pitch, so that by the time he receives the ball, the Viola’s gem always has two or three options available and is always a step ahead of the opposition.
This season of Serie A has been offering much excitement, not just because of the great title race, but also due to multiple teams having at least one shining star in their ranks. It’s not far-fetched to expect these talents to grow even further, and the future of Italian football never looked this bright and talented in recent years.
Read more from Nedim Maric on www.whatafinish.com