Serie A has seen a number of young stars hit the limelight this season with many teams finally opting to put their faith in the future of football.
Italian football was previously known for not allowing young stars the chances they needed to develop, instead favouring ageing players like Paolo Maldini who played in to his 40s for AC Milan.
The tables have now turned and Italian football is reaping the benefits with many exciting new stars emanating from the famous league.
We take a look at the five outstanding breakthrough players of the season in Serie A.
5. Marcelo Larrondo – Fiorentina
At the age of 24, it seems that the Argentine born striker has finally hit a good vein of form. Although he has only made seven Serie A appearances for the Tuscan side this season, he has scored two goals and often looked menacing. With the departure of Jovetic seeming likely, he could flourish just like Stefan El Shaawawy has since the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
4. Giacomo Bonaventura – Atalanta
Now 23-years-old, he has been named in Italy’s shortlist for the 2013 Confederations Cup after a series of fine displays for the Bergamo based side. Being likened to Andrea Pirlo for his on the ball grace and outstanding passing ability, and he has now been linked with AC Milan, Napoli and Juventus. The young midfielder is now destined for a stellar career, and should be playing Champions League football next season.
3. Paul Pogba – Juventus
The French international joined the old lady on a Bosman transfer last summer from Manchester United. After stepping up to the plate when he had to, he has shown that Alex Ferguson was wrong not to give him a chance and is now possibly the best young midfielder in the world. Proving to be a reliable back up to Chilean Arturo Vidal, he has been a massive bargain for the Bianconeri. Still at the tender age of 20, he will most definitely be one to watch next season.
2. Stephan El Shaarawy – AC Milan
The Italy international was always considered to be a rough talent while at Genoa, but when he moved to AC Milan, nobody expected him to be on a meteoric rise after just one season at the San Siro. With 18 goals in the league this season, he finished as Milan’s to scorer and fourth overall in Serie A’s scoring charts. Although his scoring has dried up after the January acquisition of Mario Balotelli, his performances have still been of the highest level, and will surely be a key part of Milan for at least the next decade.
1. Erik Lamela – AS Roma
After a disappointing first season in the Eternal City, Lamela has come of age and has become one of the most consistent performers in Serie A. His pace and trickery have become his trademarks and he also has a venomous left foot, having curled in a few screamers from range this season. After being linked with £30 million moves to Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester City, he has said that he has no intention of leaving Roma anytime soon. We may just be witnessing the birth of the new Francesco Totti.
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