Sassuolo Season Preview: De Zerbi ready to push for Europe?
Roberto De Zerbi on the prowl last season (Getty Images/Alessandro Sabattini)

Sassuolo Season Preview: De Zerbi ready to push for Europe?

Head coach Roberto De Zerbi has been praised for this attacking forward-thinking football over the last couple of years, but is his side ready to make the next step?

louismiller24
Louis Miller

Transfer Business overview

US Sassuolo lost two key players this summer, the Italian international Stefano Sensi and Turkish centre back Merih Demiral who left for Inter Milan and Juventus respectively.

To replace the pair, the Neroverdi have welcomed in Pedro Obiang from West Ham for £7.2 million, fresh from making 24 Premier League appearances last year, and Jeremy Toljan, formerly of Celtic, has arrived from Borussia Dortmund on a season-long loan.

A player to watch out for is the loan signing of French centre back Andrew Gravillon from Inter. The youngster is highly rated at San Siro and they will be watching his development closely. Young left-back Marco Sala also joined from the Milanese giant.

Manager

Head coach Roberto De Zerbi has won plaudits for his attacking football on the peninsula in recent years. De Zerbi spent most of his playing career hopping from club to club but as a manager he caught the eye of the fans and media alike when his Benevento played possession-based, attacking football. Despite Benevento's relegation in 2017/18, he won a move to Sassuolo and guided the side to 11th last season.

Player to Watch

Mercurial wing forward Domenico Berardi has threatened to catch Serie A alight for some years now. The 25-year-old is known for coming in off the right onto to his left foot. He has a lovely range of both passing and long-range shooting that makes him a handful for opposition defenders. The player has been linked away with moves to Inter and Tottenham in the past but he has remained at Sassuolo. Berardi has faced some criticism for not developing as some thought he would when he broke through in 2013/14 but he remains a class player nevertheless.

One for the Future

Sassuolo has many many promising youngsters on their books, such as Gravillion, former AC Milan midfielder Manuel Locatelli and the young Ivory Coast international Hamed Junior Traore, but the player to watch is Claud Adjapong. Adjapong is an attacking right-back that made 14 appearances for the Italy U21’s including at this summer’s European Championship on home soil. Adjapong made five league appearances last season but could well kick on this year.

Predicted finish

The loss of Sensi and Demiral will undoubtedly affect the side. The team is yet to replace the passing qualities of the Italian regista and they could struggle to do so. However, another season with De Zerbi will help the side develop and they can hope to build on last season's 11th place. There should be no ruling out an outside push for Europe.

Predicted finish 8th.

 

 

 

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