Parma Club Focus: Five Crociati that will light up Serie A
If they fair poorly, their teams fortunes fall with them. After watching Parma play their first game of the season on Sunday, a 0-0 draw with Chievo, here is a list of five players to keep an eye on this season.
These players, whether for good or ill, are the most important players to Parma’s ability to improve their record this season.
1. Nicola Sansone: This young Italian striker came on strong for Parma last season, appearing in 26 matches and scoring six goals. Prior to his breakout season with Parma, he spent 2011-2012 season on loan at Serie B side Crotone, appearing in 27 matches also scoring six goals.
At only 21 years of age, he is rumored to be the target of many bigger teams, including Arsenal and AC Milan. Despite the fact that he only appeared as a substitute in the first game of the season, Sansone is definitely someone to keep an eye on as he looks to factor heavily in Parma’s goal scoring as well as a future major transfer target.
2. Marco Parolo: This 28-year-old Italian was a revelation for Parma last season. Appearing in 37 matches and scoring three goals, Parolo was the unquestioned leader of their midfield last season.
Given that Parma continue to play a 3-5-2 formation, the club will need continued high production from their Italian ace if they hope to improve upon their record from last season.
3. Antonio Cassano: The highest profile signing in this summer transfer window, Cassano knows how to score goals. Unfortunately, he is also no stranger to controversy.
Last season, Cassano appeared in 28 Serie A matches and scored seven goals while playing for Inter.
4. Mattia Cassani: Another summer signing, Cassani arrives on loan from Fiorentina. The right back experienced a bad run of form whilst at Fiorentina, culminating in him being shipped to Genoa on loan for the second half of last season.
However, prior to that, he featured heavily at Palermo from 2006 to 2011, appearing in 161 matches and scoring two goals. Parma hope he can recapture his prior form as they insert him into a defense that struggled last season.
5. Antonio Mirante: Arriving on loan from Sampdoria in July of 2009, Mirante made an immediate impression upon Parma ownership and was purchased on a permanent basis the next summer.
Since then, the goalkeeper has become a permanent figure in goal for Parma, appearing in 65 matches. Despite interest from Milan among others, Mirante looks set to stay at Parma this season. Once again, much pressure will be put on him to continue to perform if Parma are to challenge for the European places.
With Parma celebrating their centenary this season, expectations will be high for them to improve on their 10th place finish of last year.
Drawing with Chievo will do little to improve their chances, but if these five players begin to play better football, Parma may still have a chance of sneaking into European competition, or going on a reasonable cup run.