This list contains the Best Young Players of the Serie A 2013/14 season. Note that the players that qualify as ‘young’ are those that were 21 or younger at the start of the 2013/14 season.
MATTIA PERIN | GENOA, ITALY, 21:
Over the course of this season, Mattia Perin has emerged as one of the best and most exciting keepers in Serie A. The young Italian keeper is certainly making a strong claim for a spot in Prandelli’s World Cup squad. Regardless of whether he makes it to the national team this year, Perin sure has a bright future ahead of him.
His performances this season have been priceless for Genoa. His fantastic keeping have allowed Genoa to stay well clear of the relegation zone throughout the season, and the team looks set to finish comfortably in a respectable mid table position. Perin also made it into the Italian squad, and was an unused substitute for the 1-0 friendly defeat to Spain this March. Some of the big clubs are surely going to be looking at Perin, who has kept 10 clean sheets in the league this season (at the time of writing).
GINO PERUZZI | CATANIA, ARGENTINA, 21:
Peruzzi is the second cousin of the very famous keeper, Angelo Peruzzi. Peruzzi initially came into the limelight for his performance against Santos in the Copa quarter finals of 2012, when he kept a young Neymar quiet over two legs.
Peruzzi began his career as a right winger, but has moved deeper to play as a right back now. The Argentine moved to Catania at the start of the season and had a little trouble establishing himself in the team at first, only making his debut in December. Since then though, Peruzzi has refused to budge, and has retained his starting spot. Except for a couple of yellow card suspensions, the youngster has stayed in the team, and scored one, along with assisting one.
SHKODRAN MUSTAFI | SAMPDORIA, GERMANY, 22:
Mustafi is a German defender of Albanian origin, currently plying his trade at Sampdoria in Italy. The youngster is a centre back, but can be deployed as a right back as well. Prior to Sampdoria, Mustafi was at Everton, where he made an appearance in the Europa League against BATE Borisov.
Mustafi has had a good year with Sampdoria, putting in a number of solid performances for his side. Sampdoria have had some good young players this season, and the performances from these upcoming stars has put them in a comfortable mid table position. Mustafi had initially expressed his desire to play international football for Albania, but was called up by Germany, and has even found a place in Low’s 30 man provisional squad for the World Cup.
DODO | ROMA, BRAZIL, 22:
Dodo, whose full name is Jose Rodolfo Pires Ribeiro, is a Brazilian left back. When he first broke onto the scene, Dodo was linked with English giants Manchester United, and even had a 2 week trial at Carrington.
Eventually, the youngster joined AS Roma in Serie A in 2012. The player has now almost completed 2 seasons at the club. While his first season didn’t see him get a lot of playing time, this season can rightly be described as Dodo’s breakthrough season. The young left back has made 18 appearances in the league, and 15 of them have been starts. Dodo has even notched up an assist, but what’s been more reassuring is his ability to look completely at ease in this Romaside that has performed beyond expectations to reach second place.
PAUL POGBA | JUVENTUS, FRANCE, 21:
Pogba is a youngster who has always been placed under great expectation and has always lived up these expectations. Since leaving Manchester United for Juventus, the big French midfielder has established himself as one of the Bianconeri’s most important player alongside Andrea Pirlo & Arturo Vidal.
Pogba has led Juve’s charge to their third consecutive Serie A title, and has contributed goals and assists from midfield, apart from giving his defence solid cover while going backwards. He has impacted them in big games, scoring against Napoli, and notching up assists in both their clashes with Real Madrid. Pogba is sure to feature extensively for Les Bleus at the upcoming World Cup, and his powerful midfield play makes him one to watch out for in Brazil as well. Pogba has featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-out for in 2014, coming in at #2 in our list of midfielders.
MATEO KOVACIC | INTER, CROATIA, 20:
Kovacic is another midfielder who has won a lot of plaudits this season. Mazzarri has mostly used the Croat as a central midfielder, and the youngster has demonstrated his dribbling ability well in this position.
Kovacic is quite versatile, and can play as a trequartista, or a deep lying playmaker as well. Inter have had a resurgence of sorts this season, and Kovacic has been a key man for his side. The young midfielder has made 30 appearances this season. Kovacic was also useful for Croatia in their successful quest to qualify for the World Cup this summer, getting an important assist in the second leg of qualifying against Iceland. Kovacic featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-out for in 2014, at #19 in our list of midfielders. Here is a Scout Report on Mateo Kovacic.
JORGINHO | NAPOLI, BRAZIL, 22:
Jorge Luiz Frello, better known as Jorginho, has been one of the finds of the Serie A this season. At the start of the year, Jorginho was playing for Hellas Verona, who enjoyed a great campaign. The midfielder made some valuable contributions for Verona, scoring important goals, including a match-winning brace against Parma.
Jorginho played his last game for Hellas against Napoli, his future club, and he joined Benitez’s men shortly after, in January. In the second half of the season, Jorginho wasn’t as active on the scoresheet, but has enjoyed a sedate start to life at the San Paolo. The Brazilian made a very important contribution to Napoli’s season, namely a crucial goal in the semi finals of the Coppa Italia against Roma. The Brazilian will enjoy the World Cup on TV this summer, and should come back rejuvenated to help a possible title charge by Napoli next season.
LORENZO INSIGNE | NAPOLI, ITALY, 22:
After a good U21 Euro tournament in the summer, a lot was expected of the talented Lorenzo Insigne this season, as Rafa Benitez took over at Napoli. The young Italian star has not disappointed, putting in some thrilling performances to grab the attention of the entire football world.
The young Italian forward has been in good form throughout the season, putting in some very good performances for his side. What has caught the eye most has been Insigne’s dribbling ability and tendency to beat defenders. The forward, who has mostly been deployed from the left, has contributed with 2 goals and 9 assists in the Serie A this season. Apart from the Serie A, Insigne has done a great job in the cup competitions as well. In the Champions League, he scored against Dortmund in both meetings, and crucially, got 2 goals to make the difference in the recently concluded Coppa Italia Final against Fiorentina. Insigne looks set to go to the World Cup later this year, and if he hits form, he could make a real difference for the Azzuri. Here is a Scout Report on Lorenzo Insigne.
MAURO ICARDI | INTER, ARGENTINA, 21:
Icardi has been an inspired signing for Inter Milan, chipping in with goals and endearing himself to the fans almost immediately. He became a fan favourite very soon, thanks to his goal against Juventus almost immediately after coming on as a substitute for Inter. Though he has received criticism from the media & opposition fans for his rift with Maxi Lopez.
The ex-Barcelona player, who also made an impact at Sampdoria, suffered during the first half of the season as injuries affected him, but made a strong comeback after the winter break. 6 goals and 2 assists after january, including successive braces against Bologna and Sampdoria took his tally up to 8 goals for the season. On the international stage, October 2013 saw Icardi break into the Argentine national side, as he made his first appearance for the senior team as a substitute during the loss to Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier. Icardi has been an important part of an Inter side that has improved to find itself in 5th place at the moment, and will look to build on his contribution next season, to try and drag his side into the Champions League places. Mauro Icardi featured in our list of Best Young Players to Watch-out for in 2014, coming in at #20 in our list of attackers. View the entire list here. For a detailed Scout Report on Mauro Icardi, head this way.
DOMENICO BERARDI | SASSUOLO (on loan from Juventus), 19:
Domenico Berardi has enjoyed a remarkable season on loat at Sassuolo, getting regular playing time and absolutely leaving viewers in amazement with his level of football. He’s managed 16 goals (at the time of writing) in as many games, more impressively getting three hat-tricks (including four in one game).
Berardi started the season suspended after an altercation with Livorno’s Fiorillo. His first hat-trick came against Sampdoria with all goals coming in the second half. He then topped that with a first-half hat-trick against AC Milan, and another goal right after half-time, 4 in 47 minutes. He found himself suspended again, and a three match ban after a fight with Molinaro against Parma. More recently, he did what he does best. A hat-trick in the space of just over 40 minutes vs Fiorentina in a memorable away victory. Berardi featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-out for in 2014, coming in at #23 in our list of attackers.
MANOLO GABBIADINI | SAMPDORIA, ITALY, 22:
Gabbiadini spent this season playing for Sampdoria, but the player is co-owned by Juventus. Gabbiadini is the second Sampdoria player to feature on this list, and rightly so; the hard working striker has done very well to notch up 8 goals and 3 assists, helping Sampdoria to a mid table finish.
Gabbiadini was one of the players who caught the eye during the U21 Euros last summer, and he has continued his performances into the season. What’s impressive about Gabbiadini is his work rate and energy to move and make spaces for his team mates. The goals and assists have also been spread well, as the striker has made 32 appearances, with 30 starts. After such an impressive season, and one that will provide him with some invaluable experience, he might be hopeful about getting a chance with Juventus next season. Either way, the player will have the opportunity to improve a growing reputation.