Saponara had his breakthrough in Serie B last season and with Italy's U-21 side that reached the final of the European Championship this summer, ultimately losing out to Spain.
The former Empoli attacking-midfielder was snatched up by Milan after demonstrating his talents for both club and country. Besides playing a key role during the Euros, he helped Empoli to promotion from Serie B with 11 goals and 14 assists.
With his displays, Saponara has demonstrated that the traditional "trequartista" is not an obsolete class of players, that despite the modern game favoring stronger box-to-box midfielders, the advanced playmaker still has a role to play.
Upon signing for Milan, the 21-year-old admitted getting in the starting lineup wouldn't be easy with the likes of Kevin-Prince Boateng already proven in the attacking-midfield role, and with Alessandro Diamanti increasingly linked with the club.
Saponara said, as quoted by Rossoneri Blog:
It would be fantastic to be a starter at Milan, but I could also learn a lot by having Boateng and Diamanti in front of me...I will show up at Milan with the utmost humility in order to grow and improve, and then it will be up to Allegri to decide."
But, should the deal with Diamanti fall through, with Saponara's talent at his disposal Max Allegri might very well decide to use Boateng in a deeper or wider role.
If he's given the chance, Saponara certainly won't disappoint.