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10 Serie A stars Premier League clubs should sign

 • by Adam Digby
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Reflecting on the impact Mohamed Salah has had in his debut campaign with Liverpool, it’s unsurprising that many clubs are looking towards Serie A in the hope that they can uncover Italy’s next gem.

With the summer transfer window almost upon us, Football Whispers takes a look at ten more Serie A players who should be of interest to Premier League sides ahead of next season.

Radja Nainggolan

Reportedly a Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea transfer target over the past few years, Nainggolan remains a player who would suit all three clubs perfectly.

Strong, tenacious and with a burning desire to win, he also has a widely overlooked level of talent that has seen him score and create goals at an incredible rate.

Indeed, over the last two seasons, the Roma midfielder has weighed in with 15 goals and 14 assists in Serie A alone, providing a much-needed link between defence and attack while fulfilling a variety of roles.

It would be hard to tempt him away from the Italian capital, but should anyone manage to lure the 30-year-old to leave the Stadio Olimpico they would be acquiring a genuine star.

Alisson

While playing with a cool, calm demeanour that stands in stark contrast to Roma team-mate Nainggolan, Alisson Becker is arguably the one player at the club to outperform the Belgium international over the last 12 months.

Taking over in goal from Wojciech Szczęsny, he has recorded 17 clean sheets in 37 Serie A outings while his 110 saves so far are the sixth-highest total in the league.

A Liverpool transfer target in January, he will be between the posts for Brazil this summer keeping Ederson on the bench. With his distribution rivalling that of the Manchester City man, he is a goalkeeper well worth watching.

Alex Sandro

Wanted by Chelsea last summer, the Juventus wing-back has been subject of Manchester United transfer runours in the last fortnight. But if they fail, the Premier League’s other top clubs should certainly take a look at the Juventus defender.

By his lofty standards, the 2017/18 campaign was a forgettable one but if the old adage that “form is temporary, class is permanent” holds true, the 27-year-old could represent a major bargain as the Bianconeri are expected to be demanding a fee of around €50million.

At his best he is a diligent defender and a potent attacking force, making a difference at both ends of the pitch with his pace, power and accurate crossing.

Rodrigo Bentancur

While he might not currently be as well known as his Juventus team-mate Sandro or some of the other names on this list, Bentancur could potentially be a star at this summer’s World Cup.

Already a regular starter for Uruguay, the 20-year-old gained valuable experience this season with Max Allegri unafraid of fielding the young midfielder in high-profile matches.

He was rewarded with some stellar play, Bentancur averaging 1.38 key passes and 1.21 successful take-ons, looking sharp in possession and blossoming into a useful source of creativity alongside Miralem Pjanić and Blaise Matuidi.

Napoli midfielder Jorginho has starred in Serie A

Jorginho

At the heart of everything that made Napoli great, Jorginho could be one of the first to hit the exits after the Stadio San Paolo side failed in their quest to overhaul Juventus at the top of Serie A.

He would be a huge loss, his 106.8 passes per 90 minutes the highest in Europe’s top five leagues, Maurizio Sarri’s possession based style built largely through the Brazilian-born playmaker.

His agent, Joao Santos, has already hinted he is ready to leave, telling Radio CRC that Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have already been in contact with him over a potential summer move.

Matteo Politano

It has been a difficult year for Sassuolo, with perhaps no player suffering more than Politano.

The Neroverdi only narrowly avoided relegation, while their star winger had to endure a move to Napoli collapsing in January due to a clerical error. But he did not let either issue affect his form.

The 24-year-old registered 11 goals and four assists, averaging 1.47 key passes and 2.33 successful take-ons per 90 minutes, his stellar play crucial to ensuring the club remained in the top flight.

Sassuolo have accepted he will likely move on this summer with CEO Giovanni Carnevali admitting Politano “is ready for a big club” in a recent interview with Radio RAI.

Kalidou Kouibaly

If Jorginho was the creative force that lifted Napoli into the title race, there is little doubt that Koulibaly was the rock that kept them there.

Averaging 2.2 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 3.3 clearances and 3.2 aerial duels per 90 minutes, the Senegal defender has defied even the very best strikers in the league.

The player persona chart gives an indication of Koulibaly's style in Serie A

He contributes in possession too, completing 91.3 per cent of his passes and connecting with almost 80 per game, while his five goals included the towering header that gave his side victory at Juventus Stadium.

Federico Chiesa

In a season of upheaval that saw a vast number of established players leave and the tragic death of Captain Davide Astori, few players captured the imagination as much as Chiesa.

Playing with freedom, joy and a burning desire to prove himself, the young Viola star danced down the wing while showing supporters on the Curva Fiesole that he understood their passion, genuinely happy to represent the Tuscan club rather than use them as a stepping stone to bigger things.

The player persona chart gives an indication of Chiesa's style in Serie A

His decision making in possession requires much work as his return of just six goals and four assists in 35 appearances underlines.

But, with coach Stefano Pioli to guide him, the 20-year-old continues to improve almost every time he steps out at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. A bona fide star in the making.

Elseid Hysaj

A complete full-back, Hysaj has been one of the best in the world at his position this term, combining tactical awareness, intelligent positioning and good attacking instincts up and down the right flank.

He is keenly aware of his opponents’ tendencies, forcing them into uncharacteristic mistakes and preventing them from exploiting any space behind him; his work on the ball has been excellent too.

The 24-year-old has managed just one assist, but that is largely due to the small stature of Napoli’s frontline, there is little point swinging in crosses to Dries Mertens (5ft 7ins) or Lorenzo Insigne (5ft 4ins) but his useful passing saw him complete almost 90 per cent of 52 attempts per 90 minutes.

Lucas Torreira

Away from Serie A’s biggest clubs, there is a case to be made that Torreira has been the league’s breakout star.

The 22-year-old has been a revelation in midfield for Sampdoria, contributing four goals, six assists and no end of match-winning performances that have truly caught the eye.

Lucas Torreira of Sampdoria in Serie A action

Making 62 passes per 90 minutes he has constantly fed the forwards in front of him, while his averages of 2.88 tackles and 2.06 interceptions per 90 underline his defensive contribution.

At the start of the campaign he had been linked with Everton and West Ham United, but now Torreira is being talked about as a target for Liverpool, Atlético Madrid and Manchester United, as well as Italian heavyweights Juve, Napoli and Internazionale.

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