The 2019/20 Serie A season gets underway this weekend, with Juventus looking to retain their title and win a ninth successive Scudetto; while Brescia, Hellas Verona and Lecce will be doing their utmost to stay in the top-flight. The close season wasn’t without drama, with plenty of transfers in and out, the managerial merry-go-round in full swing and the news that AC Milan will be excluded from the Europa League, due to Financial Fair Play. You can find all available Serie A odds online, but read on to find out about the four players we expect to shine this season.
Sandro Tonali (Brescia)
Brescia may be new boys to Serie A, after winning Serie B last season, but their 19-year-old midfielder, Sandro Tonali is already a wanted man. Last season, he made 34 league appearances for Le Rondinelle, with many of the Italian giants on his radar, as well as the likes of Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain. The tag ‘wonderkid’ is flung about like it’s going out of fashion, but Tonali has already been dubbed the ‘next Andrea Pirlo’ – and not just because of his gameplay, but his looks as well. Brescia boss Eugenio Corini has also claimed that the youngster will be the ‘new Daniele De Rossi’ – so high praise indeed; we’ll keep an eye on his debut season in Serie A for certain.
Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
Okay, so he’s not a young Italian and we already know what he’s about after his last season at Ajax, particularly in the Champions League, but we believe that Matthijs de Ligt will set Serie A alight this campaign. The 20-year-old was criticised for moving to the Italian champions in July of this year, with some believing it’s too much too soon for the defender. De Ligt joined Juventus for a fee of up to €75 million and is considered one of the most talented youngsters of European football. There’s sure to be competition for places with captain and vice-captain Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci recently re-forming their perfect partnership at the back – but there’s no doubting de Ligt’s ability, so we are hoping he’s given his chance to shine in a new domestic league.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
Milan’s goalkeeper Donnarumma needs no introduction to Serie A – he broke into the first team during the 2015-16 season and has since staked his claim as their number one. Going into his fifth season as the dominant figure between the sticks for I Rossoneri, it’s hard to believe that Donnarumma is just 20-years-old. He’s in Milan’s top 10 most-capped ’keepers of all-time, with 164 appearances in all competitions. Rumour has it, Paris Saint-Germain are interested in the shot-stopper, but Donnarumma has said he wants to stay with the San Siro club – and Milan will only sell him if the price is right (no less than €60-70m). Fingers crossed we see him light up La Liga once again – as Milan target a place in Europe, or better still, a Scudetto.
Andrea Pinamonti (Internazionale – on loan at Genoa)
The 20-year-old striker has made just three appearances for his parent club, Inter Milan, since making the step-up from the youth team to the first team, but Pinamonti got a real taste of Serie A last season, while on loan at Frosinone. Scoring five goals in 27 league appearances, Pinamonti will be hoping for a better run and return this season, with last campaign also resulting in Frosinone’s relegation back to Serie B. During the close season, there were a number of clubs interested in the starlet, including Roma, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund, but Genoa were lucky enough to land him on a season-long loan, with the obligation to buy. Pinamonti has cited Mauro Icardi as his favourite player and role model and has previously said he dreams of playing alongside him one day.