With another year drawing to a close, Forza Italian Football has reviewed the year that was in calcio, this time focusing in on the best youngsters in Serie A.
Although Italian football coaches are renowned to prefer using established players and veterans, there have been a few starlets emerging in recent years and 2018 was no different.
A few of these youngsters have been playing in Italy’s highest division for a couple of seasons already but they have proven that their debut campaigns were not cases of beginner’s luck and that they are capable of rising to greater heights.
Here are Forza Italian Football’s best Serie A youngsters for 2018.
Nicolo Zaniolo – Roma
Although he has only played in Serie A for less than six months, the slender 19-year-old has already made an impact at Roma. Inter sent him to the Giallorossi during the summer in the deal that involved Belgian veteran Radja Nainggolan heading to northern Italy.
A modern attacking midfielder that possesses great balance for a player standing at 189 cm tall, he is a great dribbler, a fine passer of the baller, and has wonderful composure for a youngster. His chipped goal in the 3-1 Serie A victory against Sassuolo already epitomises what he is about as a footballer.
Gianluca Mancini – Atalanta
With Mattia Caldara gone, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini needed some to fill the void the Milan centre-back has left in defence, and this season Mancini has been playing alongside Rafael Toloi and Jose Luis Palomino in the Orobici defensive trio.
After making just 11 Serie A appearances in 2017/18, the 22-year-old has already played 14 times in the league this season and scored four goals including a spell of three in as many games. Like Caldara before him he is an astute defender but he has also proven to be a great threat at set-pieces.