Top 5: Serie A midfielders in 2016
While it was Gonzalo Higuain who stole the show in 2016 by breaking Serie A’s goal-scoring record, the year was filled with an abundance of vital elements at the heart of Italian teams that were often providing for the stars up front.
Whether it was helping Juventus to a fifth consecutive Scudetto, pushing Napoli towards a possible title challenge or standing as a lone shining beacon at a struggling club; Italy’s top tier has not been short of world-class midfielders over the past year.
Here are Forza Italian Football‘s top five midfielders to ply their trade in Serie A during 2016.
5. Piotr Zielinski
Zielinski won’t be mentioned in many lists of the world’s best midfielders, however, 2016 has illustrated an evolution of the 22-year-old which spans far beyond his years.
Still on loan at Empoli, the Polish international started 2016 in a difficult period for the Azzurri who fell from eighth to 14th after accruing just one win in 14 Serie A matches.
Despite the struggles around him, individually the midfielder continued to show his potential as one of the league’s most technically gifted players.
In the final half of the 2015-16 season, Zielinski produced four goals and two assists while also displaying the versatility to play either out wide or in the hole behind a lone front man.
His talent was such that he attracted interest from the Premier League over the summer, however, would eventually complete a transfer to Napoli for a reported €16 million.
While the former Udinese man hasn’t set the world alight just yet in Naples, he has increasingly become a staple in the Partenopei eleven, often keeping the influential figure of Jorginho on the bench.
His combination of passing and dribbling abilities have been on show while contributing two goals and two assists to date in Serie A.
In fact, Zielinski’s influence on the ball has been illustrated by completing more successful dribbles than any of his teammates.
His rise from one of Serie A’s smaller clubs to last season’s runner-up has shown both the natural abilities and the exciting promise around Napoli’s new midfielder in a thoroughly successful 2016.