While it is no surprise that Juventus have all but sewn up a seventh consecutive Scudetto this season, the Serie A campaign has been nothing short of thrilling this term. In addition to many exciting and high-scoring encounters, there is no shortage of talent on the peninsula, and here at Football INDEX, we have taken a look at three players that have exceeded expectations in 2017/18.
Patrick Cutrone – £1.18 – MilanAfter finding the net in a 4-1 victory over Hellas Verona last weekend, 21-year-old Milan striker Patrick Cutrone took his tally to 15 goals in all competitions. A predator in the box, only Kylian Mbappe and Leon Bailey have scored more domestic goals this season among under 21-year-olds in all of Europe’s top five leagues.
The youngster has outscored all of his teammates, an incredible feat considering the Rossoneri spent €63 million on attacking talent in the summer. Yet all the while, the answer lay in the club’s own youth sector, Cutrone having made the step up with ease despite having played just five minutes of first-team football during the previous campaign.
Interim Italy boss Luigi Di Biagio gave the striker his first Azzurri call for the recent friendlies versus Argentina and England, and it’s hard to see why Patrick Cutrone can’t continue to exceed expectations and become a significant player for both club and country.
Jordan Veretout – £1.50 – FiorentinaFrenchman Jordan Veretout arrived at Fiorentina this summer as part of an overhaul of the squad that saw the Viola vastly trim their wage bill. Reports coming from Aston Villa suggested the €7.5 million midfielder would not be a good signing after a disastrous spell in the Midlands; however, those initial assessments proved to be very wrong indeed.
So far Veretout has impressed with strength, skill and an ability to both shield the defence and assist the attacking line in Tuscany, prompting reports that Olympique Lyonnais are preparing a €20 million summer bid. However, the Viola will be reluctant to part with a man who has scored a career-high eight goals in the league this term, a tally that includes a superb hat-trick versus Lazio netted back in April.
Luis Alberto – £1.78 – LazioThis 25-year-old winger made just nine appearances for Liverpool in three years after failing to make it through to Barcelona’s first team following a season in the Blaugrana B side. Reds fans presumably breathed a sigh of relief when Lazio paid €4 million for Luis Alberto’s services back in summer 2016, and the Spaniard would make just four starts in that campaign in the Italian capital.
This year he has been revitalised with the Biancocelesti, scoring 11 goals and securing a regular place in Simone Inzaghi’s starting XI. The forward has also contributed with a league-high 14 assists, the last player to reach that total Napoli’s Marek Hamsik in 2012/13. Whispers of interest from Barcelona and even mentions of a call-up to the Spain squad for the World Cup are not undeserved for a player that has truly exploded onto the scene this term, but it seems like Luis Alberto might decide to stay put for now, after having recently penned a new deal until 2022.