Serie A 2013/14: Top 10 youngsters to watch out for
Another season approaches, and with it comes the promise of new players, new teams and ambitions. As well as that is the guarantee of a few young players making the leap into stardom and those who are looking to secure permanent first-team action.
With that in mind, Forza Italian Football have put together the top 10 young players to watch out for this season. Due to the sheer number of talented young faces in Italy’s top division this year, we have had to put a stringent age restriction on the list, only including players who are 21 and under before the season starts.
Notable exclusions because of this rule include Mario Balotelli, Lorenzo Insigne and Udinese forward Luis Muriel.
Even then, cutting it down to just 10 was difficult, so at the bottom of the article there is an “honorable mentions” section recognizing the players who would be on a top 15, 20 or even 25 list of this kind.
So, in no particular order – here is 10 of the best young talents under the age of 21 to look for this Serie A season.
Club: AC Milan
Stephan El Shaarawy broke into the Milan starting XI last season and gave the Rossoneri an early season lift they were sorely lacking after losing stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva as well as a host of long-time veterans like Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf.
Sixteen goals and four assists in his first full season as a 19-year-old propelled El Shaarawy to the spotlight as Milan’s shining light but the arrival of Mario Balotelli in January slowed his ascent.
El Shaarawy is reminiscent of Arjen Robben with his tendency to cut inside and look to get a shot away, but has an ability to be unselfish and his work ethic in dropping back and playing as a second left-back is another reason why “Il Faraone” is a really special player.
If the prospective Balotelli-El Shaarawy partnership hits it off, Milan have the potential to have the Italian starting front two for the next decade in their side.