Serie A

5 Surprise Players in Serie A This Season

Matteo BonettiContributor IJanuary 25, 2014

5 Surprise Players in Serie A This Season

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    Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

    The Serie A has had to adapt to switching their style after a decade of dominance in the 1990s.

    Now that the teams cannot compete anymore with the lavish business plan of some of Europe's top spenders, they've had to change their strategy and either take a chance on players that are in the bargain bin for whatever reason or nurture youngsters in the youth setup.

    Here are the five biggest surprises so far this season in Serie A:

Juan Iturbe

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    Paolo Giovannini/Associated Press

    The 20-year-old bad boy Juan Iturbe has exploded on the scene with Hellas Verona after being taken on loan from Porto.

    Iturbe has consistently put his scintillating left foot on show, scoring five goals from either long range or from a set-piece position and being a terror on the right wing.

    Statistics cannot measure the way he looks on the ball.

    His control of the ball when in full stride is nothing short of world class, and it's easy to see that his limitless potential will send a signal to some of Europe's biggest spenders pretty soon.

Jose Callejon

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    Felice Calabro'/Associated Press

    The Napoli forward has had plenty of success under new coach Rafa Benitez, who has entrusted him in a 4-2-3-1 formation that caters to the ex-Madrid's play style.

    Callejon has scored 13 goals in all competitions so far this season and has instantly become a pillar on a new-look Napoli side that has lofty ambitions.

    His clever runs in the box, ability to make cunning passes and energetic work rate have made him a favorite among Partenopei faithful.

Giuseppe Rossi

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    Fabrizio Giovannozzi/Associated Press

    After spending two years rehabbing multiple catastrophic knee injuries, Giuseppe Rossi scored 14 goals in his first 18 matches with Fiorentina this season.

    A tally of this sort is reserved for only the most world-class players in Serie A. Rossi proved all of his critics wrong and turned out to be one of the most shrewd signings of the 2013 calendar year.

    Unfortunately, he has gone down with yet another injury and will be out for the next few months.

    It's expected that he will be available for the World Cup, where Cesare Prandelli plans to use him as a starter.

Mehdi Benatia

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    Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

    People knew Mehdi Benatia was good at Udinese, but who could have predicted the towering central defender to have this type of season.

    The Moroccan international leads the best defensive unit in Serie A and has been a major reason why Roma is second in the Serie A table after a few lackluster years.

    Other than his standout defensive work, Benatia has scored five domestic goals this season.

Domenico Berardi

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    Davide Spada/Associated Press

    Domenico Berardi has led the line for minnows Sassuolo, who make their first ever Serie A entry this season.

    If they manage to pull off an unlikely salvation, it'll be because of the wonders of their young phenom Berardi.

    The 19-year-old has scored 11 times domestically, second to only Giuseppe Rossi.

    His four goals against Milan were a historic figure as he became the second-youngest player to ever score that many in a game, and the first player in history to net four against Milan.

    The lanky forward has plenty of technique and pace. Doubled with his dangerous left foot and clever runs, he has all the tools to become a superstar.

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