Serie A has seen so many youngsters step up and grab their opportunities over the last couple of seasons. The likes of Franck Kessie, Nikola Milenkovic, Federico Chiesa, Krzyzstof Piatek and more come to mind as stars who have made their name as players to watch.
With the 2019-20 season upon us, we now take a look at some youngsters who could be in line to do the same in the ensuing campaign.
Nahitan Nandez (Cagliari)
Cagliari lost Nicolo Barella in the summer, with the Italian opting to join Inter Milan on a season-long loan with an obligation to buy. But, the Italian side moved fast to replace Barella, bringing in Uruguay international Nahitan Nandez from Boca Juniors. At 23, Nahitan may be a rookie in terms of European club football. But, the midfielder already has 28 senior caps for Uruguay.
Nandez isn’t exactly a like-for-like replacement for Barella, with Nandez efficient on the right side of the midfield as well. The 23-year-old has played both of Cagliari’s Serie A games so far and already has an assist to his name.
Already experienced at the international stage, Nandez has the ability and looks set to be the next Cagliari star to shine and ultimately, be a target for higher profile clubs in the near future. The Uruguayan has a knack for finding teammates in right positions and his versatility will lend more value to a Cagliari team that will be looking to improve on their lowly 15th placed finish in the 2018-19 campaign.
Like Nandez, Igor also arrived in Italy this summer, with SPAL snapping the player up from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg. Left-footed and not exactly towering in stature, Igor is a more modern-day centre-back, with focus on being fluid on the ball. To go with it, Igor has strength to cover his defensive duties well.
SPAL survived relegation last time out and will be looking for another season of solidification in Serie A. Igor has already made his mark at the club with his ability, showcasing his creative nature with an assist in the narrow 3-2 opening day defeat against Atalanta.
But, to already be a starter in a team that has six options in central defence is a feat in itself. It will now be up to Igor to maintain his form and be consistent enough to have a successful maiden Serie A campaign.
Gonzalo Maroni (Sampdoria)
Another summer arrival from Argentina, Latin Americans usually prefer Italy as their initial destination in Europe. Gonzalo Maroni has done the same, joining Sampdoria from Boca Juniors. Sampdoria field a 4-3-3 setup, with one attacking midfielder likely to either be part of the 3-man midfield or out on the wing.
Maroni’s ability to play on either flank along with the attacking midfield position will be a huge boost for the Italian club. Maroni has impressed already in the Coppa Italia, scoring on his competitive club debut. Sampdoria usually field midfielders out on the wings and Maroni is likely to compete with Gaston Ramirez for the starting spot.
Maroni is currently injured till mid-September but should soon make his Serie A debut for Sampdoria, who would be hoping to have struck gold with the signing of 20-year-old.
Florian Aye (Brescia)
22-year-old Florian Aye joined Brescia this summer from French side Clermont Foot. Brescia are expected to be in the relegation dogfight and have also brought in Mario Balotelli to boost their chances of survival. The relegation candidates also have the likes of Alfredo Donnarumma (their only goalscorer so far this season), Alessandro Matri and Ernesto Torregrossa as options in attack.
All of the options except Aye are experienced names and are likely to have more of a chance of being a starter for Brescia. But, Aye has so far featured in both of their league games, and with the club fielding 2 centre-forwards, there is an expectancy that the 22-year-old will get plenty of chances to prove himself.
Andreas Olsen (Bologna)
Andreas Skov Olsen added his 19th goal of the season by doing this.
He’s 19 years old.pic.twitter.com/3ELR7Q7Ku7
— Gilles 🇳🇬🏴 (@GrimandiTweets_) February 24, 2019
Last but not the least, Andreas Olsen completes our list of worthy notables from among the list of stars that might break out this season. Bologna splashed the cash to bring in Olsen from Danish club Nordsjaelland. Bologna lacked depth on the right side of their attack and have delved into the transfer market with the addition of Riccardo Orsolini and Andreas Olsen.
Orsolini is likely to be ahead in the pecking order over Olsen, who hasn’t been afforded a chance so far this season. But, the 19-year-old will certainly get chances when the games start flowing in. Olsen has bags of pace and is comfortable playing on either wing, which means he will have chances to impress Sinisa Mihajlovic in the long-run.