Lazio finished the 2014-2015 season third in Serie A, a point behind local rivals AS Roma. Under Stephano Pioli's guidance, the Biancocelesti completely outdid what many expected of them and played some of the most technically exciting football in the league.
The marked improvement in Lazio's league position moving from ninth to third in one year can be put down to a number of factors. Ambitious management, intelligent player recruitment and an intention to play exciting football all contributed.
But can Lazio continue on this rapid upward trajectory or will they fall back into the shadow of Roma?
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One of the crucial factors in Lazio's impressive performance last season was somewhat of a surprise to many, including Lazio's fans.
Felipe Anderson arrived from Santos for €7.8 million in June 2013 having impressed from an early age in an academy used to seeing exceptional talents.
Last season was when Anderson became recognised as one of the most talented, exciting and sought-after young players in Europe, and with good reason.
In 23 league starts Anderson picked up ten goals and seven assists, as well as being man of the match on eight occasions.
Anderson proved to be deadly cutting in from the wing or picking up the ball in the centre of an attack, averaging 3.3 dribbles per game in Serie A he quickly became Lazio's golden boy.
He was the seventh highest rated player in Serie A, obtaining a rating of 7.47 on WhoScored, behind only the likes of Paul Pogba, Franco Vasquez and Carlos Tevez.
Having reportedly been scouted by Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Liverpool amongst others Lazio will hope to hang on to Anderson and place even more faith in the young Brazilian to produce the kind of magic that could help them to challenge Juventus and Roma.
Another impressive young star at the heart of Lazio's success is Stefan De Vrij. The 23-year-old centre-back joined Lazio at the start of the 2014-15 season from Feyenoord after an impressive World Cup performance with the dutch national team.
De Vrij quickly endeared himself to the Lazio fanbase with strong, consistent performances in defence and adapted well to the highly technical Italian league. De Vrij averaged 3.4 interceptions per game, the fourth best in Serie A, tied with fellow dutchman and midfield enforcer Nigel de Jong.
By the end of his first season in Serie A, De Vrij was the fifth highest rated centre-back by Whoscored with a rating of 7.34. The young Dutchman has the ability to become one of the finest players in his position in world football.
Lazio's improvement to this point and any further success may be put down to the new, exciting, young look to the side but it is important not to overlook the authority, guidance and experience the older, more established players bring to the team.
Lucas Biglia, who arrived last summer, has been a revelation and brought stability to the Lazio midfield with his passing, tackling and exceptional anticipation helping to attract interest from Real Madrid.
When you consider Biglia's stats you can see why Madrid would be interested though. Biglia was the eightth highest rated player in Serie A in 2014/15 by Whoscored.
In addition to this Biglia made 3.7 tackles per game on average the second highest, only behind recent Napoli recruit Allan.
Biglia also played an average of 70.8 passes per game, the fourth highest in the league. It is also worth mentioning the presence of Antonio Candreva on the wing and Marco Parolo in central midfield. Both now full Italian internationals, the experience and talent they bring to the side as individuals is essential for future success.
The final reason for continued positivity around the Lazio camp is the acquisition of some of Europe's finest talents in the shape of Ricarrdo Kishna from Ajax (20) and ex Manchester Utd and West Ham Playmaker Ravel Morrison.
Kishna has been praised as one of the finest dribblers in the dutch top flight and brings new flair to the team. Morrison, though not without his issues was described by Sir Alex Ferguson as one of the brightest young talents he'd ever seen. In addition to this, due to his technical ability Italian football could prove a good fit for Morrison who has already featured in pre season for the Rome based club.
In summary, Lazio have reason to be excited for the season ahead, with an intelligent ambitous manager, a mixture of young talent and experienced internationals, and a race for the champions league places as open as ever, they have a recipe for success not only now but for seasons to come.
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