Another Serie A season is on the verge of getting underway and as with every season there is the opportunity for the next big thing to break out and catch the eyes of the footballing world in their fledgling careers.
Marko Pjaca – Juventus - 21
Undoubtedly the one in the list with the most pressure on him following a €25 million move from Dinamo Zagreb, Croatian Marko Pjaca could have a real standout season for the reigning champions as they look to regain their crown.
Last season, Juventus saw Paulo Dybala in particular shine, having had his real breakthrough season in the 2014/15 season with Palermo, and now it is Pjaca’s turn.
Pjaca is a relative unknown to most of Europe and despite being in early stage of his career has amassed over 60 appearances alone for Zagreb in a two-year period and chipped in with over 20 goals in that time also.
A winger by trade, Pjaca will likely slot in where Juan Cuadrado departed at the end of the season when his loan from Chelsea expired.
Stefano Sensi – Sassuolo - 20
Stefano Sensi is a little less of an unknown commodity than the above Pjaca having starred for Cesena last season and securing a move to Sassuolo as early as January this year.
The fact that Juventus and both Milanese clubs amongst others were vying for his services speaks volumes of the calibre of player he is.
Sensi fits in best in central midfield and could well form a formidable partnership with equally talented Alfred Duncan – who only misses out on the list due to being one of the standout youngsters of last season.
Adam Nagy – Bologna – 20
Bologna securing Hungarian international Adam Nagy came as somewhat of a surprise with some of the European elite courting the midfielder but after the success of both Amadou Diawara and Godfred Donsah in the centre of midfield last term, a move to Bologna makes perfect sense after manager Roberto Donadoni turned two largely untried youngsters into a solid partnership.
Nagy leaves Ferencvaros in his homeland for Bologna and rightfully gained many plaudits for his performances at the European Championship’s and is seen as his country’s next real big star.
Nagy is one of my favourites to succeed this season and despite being contracted to the rosoblu until 2021 it is unlikely he will see out his contract with the club barring the club having a significant rise in Italian football stature and be continually competing for European football – which isn’t a too farfetched thought given some of the names they were previously targeting one such name being Graziano Pelle, who has since moved to China.
Gianluca Caprari – Pescara (On loan from Inter) – 22
Gianluca Caprari’s vital role in Pescara’s promotion back to the top flight earned him a move to Inter Milan while his partner in crime Gianluca Lapadula joined rivals Milan.
Caprari hit double figures in both goals and assists last year in Serie B and really put his name out there and as a result landed at Inter as aforementioned.
Joining Caprari on loan at the delfini is Rey Manaj and it could be Inter’s plan to have the pair create chemistry ahead of them both returning to the San Siro and utilising them as a hopefully lethal strike force in years to come.
The oldest player on this list but by no means any less likely to get his standout season after a move to the big time.
Umar Sadiq – Roma - 19
Umar Sadiq broke onto the scene at the giallorossi last term as they continued to search for someone who could score on a consistent basis.
The plight remains upfront for the capital club and there’s every chance that if Sadiq is given the chance again and performs like he did when given the opportunity last term by scoring twice in six substitute appearances.
The Nigerian youngster showed positioning well past his years and could be just what Roma need however when Luciano Spaletti took over from Rudi Garcia he was afforded little playing time as the undisputed King of Rome, Francesco Totti rolled back the years and put in a number of classy performances which likely means he will have to settle for bench appearances again but as the age old saying goes, “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.”
Valerio Verre – Pescara – 22
Valerio Verre, like Caprari above played a huge role in Pescara’s promotion to Serie A and was often the one overshadowed by Caprari and Lapdula’s exploits while putting in a number of top performances himself.
Adalberto Peñaranda – Udinese (On loan from Watford) - 19
Adalberto Peñaranda is already establishing himself as a full Venezualan international aged just 19 and put in some impressive performances for his national team at this summer’s Copa America Centenario. Having already got top flight experience under his belt in Spain with Granada, it will be interesting to follow his time in Italy before he heads back to ply his trade for Premier League outfit Watford. Peñaranda’s move was one of the last moves in the Pozzo club triangle of Udinese, Watford and Granada before the latter was sold.