Tonali, Osimhen and the Ten Most Improved Serie A Players

As many players from the past and present would testify, Italian football is far from easy. We’ve seen a host of talented players in the past failing to leave their mark in Calcio, before departing towards new pastures. Nonetheless, Italian football can be extremely rewarding for the diligent and hard-working individuals, as many were able to become household names in the peninsula after overcoming initial difficulties. So let’s check out the ten most improved players in Serie A this season.

10- Nahuel Molina (Udinese)

Following his arrival to Udine in 2020, the young  Argentine had his ups and downs during his first campaign in Italy.

However, the Boca Juniors youth product proved his doubters wrong this season as he slowly but surely develops into one of the finest wingbacks in the country.

The 23-year-old has thus far scored six goals and provided three assists, which are some excellent stats for a player in his role.

Therefore, Molina’s impressive displays have reportedly caught the attention of Juventus.

9- Matthijs De Ligt (Juventus)

Speaking of the devil, when the Bianconeri signed Matthijs de Ligt in the summer of 2019, everyone agreed that they landed one of the very best young defenders in Europe.

But even the best and most composed talent need a settling period, especially when they move to a whole new footballing culture at the tender age of 19.

So following two seasons filled with highs and lows, the Dutchman is finally putting it all together, becoming the De Facto leader of Massimiliano Allegri’s backline, taking the torch from the exhausted Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini who are now on their final leg.

Now aged 22, the sky is the limit for the former Ajax captain who has cemented himself among the best center backs in the world.

8- Mario Pasalic (Atalanta)

Calcio fans are now too familiar with Mario Pasalic. The former Chelsea man spent the 2016/17 campaign on loan at Milan, and has been acting as one of Gian Piero Gasperini’s loyal soldiers since making the switch to Atalanta in 2018.

However, the Croatian is no longer satisfied with his secondary role in Bergamo. Thus, he managed to take his game up a notch this season, and has already contributed in nine goals and seven assists in Serie A this season.

At the moment, Antonin Barak is the only midfielder who has more Serie A strikes than the Orobici star who has vastly improved his skillset and discovered his appetite for goals.

7- Tammy Abraham (Roma)

Although the Englishman is on his inaugural Serie A campaign, we still had to add him to the list, as he has definitely sharpened his tools since landing in the Italian capital.

After struggling for playing time at Chelsea, the striker made a courageous decision by joining José Mourinho’s project at Roma, and this collaboration has thus far borne great success for both parties.

While we all knew that Abraham has all the making for a magnificent hitman since making his big splash with the Blues in 2019, all he needed was a trusting head coach and a warm fanbase.

Abraham and Roma: Eternal Love or Stepping Stone?

6- Federico Bonazzoli (Salernitana)

After ending his apprenticeship in Inter’s youth sector, Federico Bonazzoli has been struggling to make an impact on the senior level. The versatile striker joined Sampdoria in 2015 and has been embroiled in never-ending loan spells.

Luckily for the Italian, he has finally found his niche in Salerno this season, and he’s been by far the most impressive and consistent Salernitana player this term.

This campaign, he has found the net on seven occasions thus, including a fabulous acrobatic effort in his side’s memorable draw against Milan.

At the age of 24, time is still on his side, and although the Granata are destined for relegation, surely a top tier club will offer him an escape route.

Bonus: Pedro Rodriguez (Lazio)

at the age of 34 and with a cabinet that includes the most prestigious medals in the sport (World Cup, European Championships, Champions League, Premier League…), it’s odd to mention Pedro on the list of the most improved players in Serie A.

And yet, the Spaniard has been just that.

Following an unspectacular campaign at Roma, the veteran completed one of the rarest moves in football, switching allegiance in the middle of the Eternal City.

But his arrival proved to be a masterstroke from Lazio who reunited him with his old Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. The winger has delivered big time this season, scoring eight Serie A goals and providing four assists for his teammates, and played a major role in the Biancolesti’s triumph in the first Derby della Capitale of the season.

5- Gianluca Caprari (Verona)

Reminiscently to his Sampdoria teammate Bonazzoli, Gianluca Caprari has been struggling to find a footing in Serie A, and it appeared that he was condemned for a journeyman career.

But it all changed this season.

The talented striker was sent on loan for Verona as a replacement for Mattia Zaccagni (who joined Lazio), but it didn’t took him long to make the Gialloblu supporters forget all about the departed winger.

The versatile forward has already hit double-digits by scoring his 10th league goal, while also providing a host of assists, mainly to his partner in prime, who happens to be our next entry on the list.

4- Giovanni Simeone (Verona)

Although his father is the manager of one of the strongest clubs on the Old Continent, Giovanni Simeone was never given a shortcut, instead having to carve his path on his own.

Despite some unconvincing stints with the likes of Genoa, Fiorentina and Cagliari, El Cholito was adamant on making it in Serie A, refusing to leave the Italian shores before leaving a legacy that is worthy of his surname.

Luckily for the Argentine, his scoring prowess has finally exploded at Verona, and has already found the back of the net on 16 occasions (none of them from the spot).

Let’s see if his performances this season will warrant him a reunion with his old man in the Spanish capital.

3- Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

After making the switch from Lille to Napoli in 2020, great things were expected from the Nigerian who became the club’s record signing.

Nonetheless, his initial campaign in Serie A was marred by controversial incidents related to Covid-19, some injury problems and inconsistent performances.

But this term, we’re witnessing a more polished and mature version of the center forward who has became the southern city’s main talisman.

With his latest match-winning performances against the likes of Udinese and Verona, Osimhen has now proven himself to be the right man to lift the Partenopei’s dreams upon his broad shoulders.

The New Napoli Idol: How Osimhen Dethroned Insigne

2- Gleison Bremer (Torino)

Despite lingering in Torino since 2018, the Brazilian hasn’t done much to make himself noticed during his first few campaigns in Serie A. Surely, he proved to be a decent defender, but his displays didn’t allude to a special talent.

But this has dramatically changed since the start of the current campaign. The 25-year-old has truly taken the league by storm, putting one commanding display after the other, and opening a major auction between the big Serie A boys who will be vying for his precious signature next summer.

1- Sandro Tonali (Milan)

Following a mediocre first campaign in Milan, some were willing to drop the towel on Sandro Tonali’s chances of becoming a household name in Serie A. Fortunately, the man himself never doubted his talent, as he put his head down and kept working hard to prove the naysayers wrong.

Although Franck Kessié is heading towards the exit doors at Milanello, the Italian has already occupied the Ivorian’s role on the pitch rather than waiting for next season.

The former Brescia Golden Boy has turned himself into a war machine in the middle of the park, and is never willing to back out from a fight. But more importantly, he has found his smooth technical touch which he was renowned for during his teenage years.

Therefore, the young midfielder is arguably the most improved player in Serie A this season, and his great development is small consolation for a nation in mourning.