Serie A is one of the best and most exciting domestic leagues in Europe, and every year there are young players who make their mark.
The 2013-14 Italian top-flight campaign also saw a number of youngsters step up their game and rise to the occasion, showing signs that they are set for stardom in the not-so-distant future.
Below is our list of top five young players in Serie A this season. For our list, we have considered players who were 21 or below at the start of the campaign.
The 19-year-old forward enjoyed a sensational 2013-14 season and was Sassuolo’s best player. Berardi scored 16 goals and provided six assists in 29 Serie A matches, and helped I Neroverdi stave off relegation to the Italian second division. The highlight of his season was scoring all four goals against AC Milan in a 4-3 victory in January. Berardi is actually co-owned by Juventus and Sassuolo, but he wants to stay at the latter for the next season.
The Brazilian midfielder was a key player for Hellas Verona over the years and made the move to Napoli in January. Jorginho, who turned 22 in December, ended the season with seven goals and four assists in 33 Serie A appearances: his performances from midfield were superb.
The 21-year-old goalkeeper has been steadily improving over the past few years, and in 2013-14 he showed all Serie A followers what he is capable of. Perin was easily the best in his position this season in Italy (and remember, Gianluigi Buffon is still going strong for Juventus) and helped Genoa finish 13th.
Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan)
The 21-year-old actually made fewer starts in Serie A this season than he did last term thanks to injuries, but he was still one of the few bright sparks for AC Milan in what was a largely disappointing campaign. The right-back’s performances were laudable and there is more to come from the Italian, who has already made nine appearances for the national team.
Paul Pogba (Juventus)
The France international suffered a dip in form at the turn of the year, but that should not take anything away from yet another fabulous season. It is hard to believe that Pogba is still just 21 – he is a mainstay in the Juventus midfield and is arguably the best young player in Europe at the moment. The former Manchester United youngster’s performances were complemented by seven goals and as many assists in Serie A.