The top 10 rising stars in Serie A right now

Serie A rightly or wrongly holds this reputation as a league not for young men. That image is slowly changing and we can thank a plethora of exciting talents.

Whilst Gianluigi Donnarumma is perhaps the poster boy of Serie A’s emerging generation, there is a wide range of prospects who may soon rival the teenage stopper’s claim of being the most famous young name in the division.

Whether bursting on the scene in recent weeks or turning the heads of some Europe’s biggest clubs as the season has progressed, we’ve ranked ten of the most exciting rising stars in Italy’s top flight right now.

10. Yann Karamoh

Age: 19

Club: Inter Milan (on loan from Caen)

2017/18 Serie A appearances (minutes): 8 (258)

A graduate of Caen’s esteemed academy, the young Ivorian marksman relocated to the blue and black half of Milan ahead of this season on a two-year loan deal with the obligation to purchase.

He would soon make his Inter Milan debut, replacing Borja Valero in the 72nd minute in their 1-0 win over Genoa last September, before scoring a sensational winner against Bologna on his first Serie A start in February.

Luciano Spalletti, who has a commendable reputation when it comes to blooding youngsters, has used Karamoh in each of Inter’s last four league games.

9. Moise Kean

Age: 18

Club: Hellas Verona (on loan from Juventus)

2017/18 Serie A appearances (minutes): 19 (1,130)

Kean came to national and international attention last season when the Juventus academy graduate became the first player born in 2000 to play in Serie A whilst representing the Old Lady.

He would then add two further records: becoming the first player born in the 2000s to make an appearance in the Champions League, as well as the first player born in the 2000s to score a goal in one of Europe’s five major leagues.

It soon became clear, for the sake of his development, the Vercelli-born striker would be playing away from Turin this campaign. Kean subsequently joined Hellas Verona last summer, after penning a new contract at Juve keeping him at the club until 2020, and he has continued to make headlines.

A brace in a 4–1 away win against Fiorentina earlier this year saw Kean become only the second Serie A player born in the 2000s to achieve this feat following Pietro Pellegri who did so for Genoa in September 2017.

8. Dawid Kownacki

Age: 20

Club: Sampdoria

2017/18 Serie A appearances (minutes): 15 (335)

It has been a season of learning for the Polish centre-forward who coming through the ranks at boyhood club Lech Poznań was dubbed “the new Lewandowski” which he subsequently admitted he found tough to handle.

In fairness, he is not looking to follow in Robert Lewandowski’s footsteps, instead forge his own path and so far this season he has shown the potential that first attracted Sampdoria.

Although appearing in 15 of Sampdoria’s opening 28 league matches, 14 of those have been as a substitute. Yet despite limited minutes, the Polish forward has found the net on no fewer than three occasions in that time – providing one further assist for his teammates.

Recently called up to the senior Poland squad for the first time, the uncapped international looks the part and if he continues on this trajectory then there is no guessing where he will end up in the future.

7. Lorenzo Pellegrini

Age: 21

Club: AS Roma

2017/18 Serie A appearances (minutes): 22 (1,338)

It is easy to forget this is Lorenzo Pellegrini’s fourth season as a Serie A footballer given how accomplished he already looks.

A graduate of Roma’s academy, the Roman would leave his boyhood club for Sassuolo, where his eye-catching displays convinced the powers that be to re-sign him and correct that error of letting him go.

He has not looked back since returning last summer, featuring in 79% of the Giallorossi’s league matches this season, producing three goals and creating a further 36 chances for his teammates.

Under the auspices of Eusebio Di Francesco he has featured predominantly as a central midfielder and is presently registering an average passing accuracy of 83%.

6. Cengiz Under

Age: 20

Club: AS Roma

2017/18 Serie A appearances (minutes): 20 (959)

As the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait. After sitting out seven of Roma’s opening 13 league fixtures the Turkish wunderkid has been firmly part of Eusebio Di Francesco’s plans – having featured in 14 of their subsequent 15 league outings, including starting their last eight on the bounce.

A versatile footballer, Under, who has seven international caps with Turkey under his belt, is most deadly when playing on the right but capable of operating on either wing as well as in attacking-midfield or even as a centre-forward if needs be.

He has repaid his manager’s faith by registering five goals across Roma’s last six matches.

Such form earned him a first Champions League appearance, from the start, for the Serie A giants against Shakhtar Donetsk – with him grabbing the all-important away goal in their 2-1 round of 16 first-leg defeat in Ukraine, becoming the youngest Turkish player ever to score in the competition in the process.

5. Patrick Cutrone

Age: 20

Club: AC Milan

2017/18 Serie A appearances (minutes): 19 (956)

Italian football’s next great number nine? He could very well be. Already comparisons are being made, with his manager Gennaro Gattuso likening him to the esteemed Filippo Inzaghi, because of his instincts inside the penalty area. No pressure then.

That being said, Cutrone is not showing any signs of it, if anything he is playing without fear. Leading the line for a club of Milan’s stature, considering the great centre-forwards to have played for them, is a big deal and only a few survive.

Cutrone is looking the part. He has already bagged six league goals, in what is turning out to be his breakthrough season, or once every 159 minutes. A modest total, but when looking at AC Milan’s season across all competitions, the Como-born marksman is the club’s top scorer with 14 goals, at least four more than any other teammate, despite naturally still learning his trade.

Given the Italian national team is in the process of rebuilding following their failure to reach this summer’s World Cup there is a strong chance Cutrone will be in the plans of the next full-time Azzurri boss.

4. Federico Chiesa

Age: 20

Club: Fiorentina

2017/18 Serie A appearances (minutes): 26 (2,150)

Being the son of a football icon is not easy. Some cave, while others are inspired to make a name for themselves.

Federico Chiesa, son of Enrico, is doing the latter. He has now become one of the most important players for Fiorentina, the only club he has known, and has subsequently been tipped for stardom.

So far this season, while predominantly being played on the right flank, he has scored five goals and created 36 chances (with two of those being assists) in Serie A.

All eyes are naturally on him and, if reports are to be believed, then one of those pairs belong to Manchester City; it is easy to see why Pep Guardiola and company would be keeping tabs.

3. Milan Skriniar

Age: 23

Club: Inter Milan

2017/18 Serie A appearances (minutes): 27 (2,430)

There is no greater compliment for a young Inter Milan centre-back to be dubbed as Walter Samuel’s heir by the former Argentine defensive juggernaut.

Samuel, a treble winner under Jose Mourinho, earlier this season commented how much Milan Skriniar reminds him of himself.

Nominally a central defender, though capable of operating in midfield, Skriniar has to date played every single minute for Inter in Serie A since joining from Sampdoria last summer.

Despite bagging four goals, what has impressed is his aerial ability, having won 59% of his headed duels, and his comfort with the ball at his feet. Skriniar, predominantly right-footed, averages a passing accuracy of 91% whilst completing 100% of his attempted take-ons (19/19).

2. Lucas Torreira

Age: 22

Club: Sampdoria

2017/18 Serie A appearances (minutes): 27 (2,374)

Serie A has always been blessed with elegant central midfielders and Lucas Torreira is just the latest showcasing his talents.

A graduate of Pescara’s academy, whom he joined from Montevideo Wanderers in his native Uruguay, he would join La Samp in 2016 after two eye-catching seasons in Serie B.

Prior to this campaign, the Fray Bentos-born midfielder would feature across 35 Serie A outings, all coming with his current club. To date he’s been an ever-present under Marco Giampaolo having not missed any of their opening 27 league fixtures.

Playing as a defensive midfielder, he has won more tackles than any other Sampdoria player, whilst averaging a passing accuracy of 87%.

1. Sergej-Milinkovic Savic

Age: 23

Club: Lazio

2017/18 Serie A appearances (minutes): 26 (2,108)

A graduate of FK Vojvodina Novi Sad’s academy, whom he joined in August 2006, the Spanish-born midfielder relocated to Belgian outfit Genk in the summer of 2014.

Milinkovic-Savic would remain there for one season, in which he made 24 appearances in all competitions, registering five goals and one assist.

It was his stellar performances in the heart of midfield – though he can also play a little deeper as well as behind the centre-forward – that encouraged Lazio to part with £16.2 million to bring him to the Italian capital in 2015. To date, he has featured in no fewer than 85 league matches for the Eagles and has been involved in 21 goals, scoring 12 of those of himself.

This season, in particular, the Serbian international has stood out, with many comparing him to Paul Pogba during his Juventus days, and a number of teams across Europe appear to be vying for his signature as a result, including both Manchester clubs.

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