By Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)
Paulo Dybala – Juventus:
The young Argentinian striker has become the latest in a long line of players to be described as the “New Messi”. This would be unfair on the 21-year-old who is taking his own path to super stardom. Signed by Palermo from Instituto for €12 million in 2012, Dybala price has more than doubled his price tag after Juventus paid the Sicilian club €32 million to secure his services for the new campaign. Frighteningly quick with a devastating left foot, he smashed in 13 goals last season. It will be fascinating to see how he develops at one of Europe’s premier clubs.
Danilo Cataldi– Lazio
This 20-year-old midfielder sprung to prominence last season in the Italian capital under the guidance of coach Stefano Pioli. Injuries hampered his progress towards the end of the campaign but after a summer representing his country at Under 21 level in the European Championships in Prague, 2015-16 could be the season that this young man who was born in Rome, fulfils his outstanding potential at both domestic and international level.
Alessio Romagnoli– Roma
Another product from the club’s excellent youth academy, Alessio Romagnoli is hot property across the peninsula after an outstanding 2014-15 on loan at Sampdoria. This summer has seen the 20-year-old defender return to the capital but for how long? His coach from last season, Siniša Mihajlović would love to take him to his new club AC Milan but a bid of €25 million has already been rejected by the Giallorossi. Whichever jersey the player finally pulls on for the 2015-16 campaign, expectations will be high for the man tipped to become the cornerstone of the Italian national team’s defense for many years to come.
Felipe Anderson – Lazio
Another player who blossomed in the capital with Lazio last season, the 22-year-old Brazilian midfielder’s performances earned him a call-up to the national team this summer and after the club reportedly rejected numerous offers for his services, Lazio fans will hope for a repeat performance next season. Equally adept using both feet, he netted 10 times last season from midfield helping to propel his team to the Champions League qualifying rounds.
After also representing his country at the Under 21 European Championships this summer, 20-year-old Fiorentina striker Federico Bernardeschi returns to Tuscany to embark on the most important season of his short career. Reduced to being a bit part player in last year’s campaign, the departure of German international Mario Gomez has given the youngster the platform to impress in 2015-16. He has already been given the seal of approval by his strike partner Giuseppe Rossi and as new coach Paulo Sousa steps into the hot seat at the ArtemioFranchi, the opportunity is there for the young man from Carrara to become a fans favourite next season.