10 Players to Watch in Italy's Serie A Next Season

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIJuly 31, 2012

10 Players to Watch in Italy's Serie A Next Season

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    The Serie A has players that fans will surely want to keep an eye on next season.

    While talented players like Javier Pastore, Samuel Eto'o and, most recently, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva have left the league in recent seasons, there is still plenty of talent in Italy's top league.

    This isn't your typical list of top-class players or up-and-coming youngsters to watch next season. Some players are household names while some are burgeoning stars while one in particular presents an intriguing story for his compatriots.

    These aren't just the best players in the league and certainly not the only ones to keep an eye but here are 10 players to watch in the Serie A next season.

Antonio Di Natale: Udinese

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    Antonio Di Natale has seemingly gotten better with age. He has been one of Serie A's top scorers during the last few seasons and is now 34 years old.

    Di Natale has improved his scoring since he reached the age of 30 and has done this despite losing some key teammates throughout the years. After an impressive 2010/11 campaign, where he led the scoring charts with 29 goals, he lost Alexis Sanchez in 2011/12 and still managed 23 goals.

    This season he will have to do without the services of Kwadwo Asamoah and Mauricio Isla so it will be interesting to see if he can continue his clinical form.

Andrea Pirlo: Juventus

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    Andrea Pirlo rolled back the years and playing a starring role for both Juventus and Italy this past season.

    The 33-year-old midfielder led the league in assists last season while helping Juventus to an undefeated season in the Serie A.

    His influential displays in Euro 2012 marked him as the midfielder of the tournament above the likes of Xavi and Luka Modric.

    Football fans will be watching to see if Pirlo can continue that form with Juventus set to challenge in Europe again next season.

Kevin-Prince Boateng: AC Milan

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    Kevin-Prince Boateng is AC Milan's new No. 10 and that shows how much of a key player he is expected be for the club next season.

    Boateng has been an important player for Milan since joining the club in 2010/11 but his status has increased tenfold with the departure of players like Clarence Seedorf, Mark Van Bommel and, of course, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

    Milan is sure to find a reinforcement for the Swedish forward but that player will not be of the same calibre and the onus will still be on Boateng to be the main man for Milan's attacks.

    He will have to cut down on certain activities to stay injury-free and it will be interesting to see how he performs with the added responsibility next season.

Stephan El Shaarawy: AC Milan

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    Stephan El Shaarawy is another AC Milan player who will have a bigger role for the club next season. The Italian youngster really came on during the second half of the 2011/12 season and scored four goals in 28 appearances last season.

    For the moment, he will share the attacking load with Robinho, Alexandre Pato and Cassano and is sure to get his share of playing time especially after signing a contract extension until 2017.

    Shaarawy is one to watch for the future and some really good things may start to happen for the youngster next season.

Stevan Jovetic: Fiorentina

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    Stevan Jovetic's talents are well worth watching. Though he has been linked to clubs like Juventus, Fiorentina expect their star man to stay at the club at least one more season.

    He is still only 22 and may be better served staying at his current club to continue his development. One more season auditioning for the top clubs would not be the worst thing for his career.

Edinson Cavani: Napoli

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    Edinson Cavani recently made it known he intends to stay with Napoli and that is great news for the club. The Uruguayan hitman has been in great form for the club the last two seasons and has established himself as one of the premier forwards in the game.

    Any success Napoli is likely to have next season hinges on the Uruguayan's form and he certainly has the goods to produce.

Eduardo Vargas: Napoli

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    The big question around Eduardo Vargas this coming season is whether or not he can replace the departed Ezequiel Lavezzi.

    The young Chilean attacker was being sought by a number of clubs before moving to Napoli in January but has not set the Serie A alight yet.

    He has been compared to fellow Chilean Alexis Sanchez and will need to show all those talents to help his club compensate for the loss of one of their key players.

Wesley Sneijder: Inter

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    Fans should tune in to see if Wesley Sneijder can regain the form that saw him lead Inter to a treble in 2009/10 and carry Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final.

    Many eyes will be on the Dutch maestro who endured a poor 2011/12 campaign and topped it off with disappointment during Euro 2012.

    Sneijder is still only 28 and has more attacking options to work with thanks to the arrival of Rodrigo Palacio but will need to be at his best to help his club back to the top of the Italian standings and into the Champions League again.

Sebastian Giovinco: Juventus

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    After impressing with Parma for the last two seasons, Sebastian Giovinco will finally get his chance to fully shine for Juventus.

    Can Sebastian Giovinco make Juventus fans forget Alessandro Del Piero? To be honest, no. Still, "the Atomic Ant" can go some way to easing the fears of "Old Lady" fans by reproducing the impressive form he had in 2011/12.

    One great season alone won't do it but it would be good for Giovinco to make his mark in the side this season. He will have to show he can be the man to carry on the legacy of the No. 10 shirt if he wears it, and be the future of the club as he has always been touted.

Michael Bradley: Roma

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    Why would you want to watch out for Michael Bradley? To see if a US player can compete at one of the more high-profile clubs in one of Europe's top leagues. It certainly didn't work out well for one Oguchi Onyewu.

    Clint Dempsey has been doing well at Fulham but it will be interesting to see what happens should he move to Liverpool.

    The case of Michael Bradley is an interesting one, especially for US soccer fans. He has had successful stints at various clubs across Europe but Roma is certainly his biggest stage so far. After impressing with Chievo last year, Bradley will now compete against players like Daniele De Rossi and Miralem Pjanic for spots in midfield.

    Obviously the plight of Bradley is of more interest for those who are US soccer fans but for those of us who aren't, it may be interesting to keep track of how he does.


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