Looking Ahead: Serie A Bargains

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That’s four out of five Match Day leagues back, folks.

And it’s one with a bona fide title race, as Lazio go toe-to-toe with Juventus.

All eyes are on their July 20 clash in Turin, but in the meantime, there are plenty of matchday winnings to go after.

We’ve cast our eye over five players under £1.50 who could do the business in the weeks ahead…


Mario Pasalic (£1.17)

Atalanta

25 years old

Even diehard Chelsea fans could be forgiven for not knowing that Mario Pasalic has been their player since 2014, when he moved to Stamford Bridge for £3 million from Hadjuk Split.

That is understandable though, as he has not made a single competitive appearance for the Blues in that time.

Instead, the attacking midfielder has been loaned out a remarkable – even for Chelsea – five times, with his last two years at Atalanta being his most recent stopping point after spells at Elche, Monaco, AC Milan and Spartak Moscow.

But with Pasalic enjoying one of his most successful seasons to date with Gian Piero Gasperini’s free-scoring team, he has said he wants to at last put down some roots in Italy.

And that has seemingly come to pass, with Atalanta set to pay just over £13 million this summer to permanently sign the Croatian.

At just 25 years old, and with seven goals and seven assists to his name this term, he looks set to kick on with his new club as they try to break Juventus’ stranglehold on Italian football.

Seko Fofana (£0.49)

Udinese

25 years old

Could Seko Fofana finally be heading to England this summer?

The Paris-born Ivorian was linked with a £18 million move to West Ham in January, speculation that saw his Share Price on the Index rise to £0.63.

And according to Calcio Mercato, the transfer could be back on.

Fofana certainly has a profile that should be suited to the Premier League. 

He possesses both defensive and attacking attributes – his five assists this season are a testament to that – whilst also having spent time in England previously with Manchester City and Fulham, making 21 appearances in the Championship for the latter in 2014/15.

It remains to be seen where Fofana ends up next term, but his first priority will be to ensure his Udinese side are safe from the drop, given they are just three points outside the relegation zone at present.

Joao Pedro (£0.58)

Cagliari

28 years old

It’s fortunate that Cagliari had such a superb start to the Serie A campaign, because the last time they won a league match was December 2, 11 games ago.

So their trip to Verona this weekend represents a chance for the Sardinians to turn their season around – and they will be reliant on Joao Pedro for goals.

The 28-year-old’s 16 league strikes put him fourth in the Italian top flight’s scoring charts – behind only Ciro Immobile (£1.94), Cristiano Ronaldo (£3.13) and Romelu Lukaku (£2.02) – and all from a role off the front too.

It’s hard to put a finger on why Pedro’s relatively itinerant career has now sparked into life, but his six-month ban for a positive drugs test in 2018 may have made him determined to make up for lost time.

And his Share Price of £0.58 could look a snip if he keeps finding the back of the net. 

Robin Gosens (£1.17)

Atalanta

25 years old

Similarly to Pasalic (£1.17), Robin Gosens is another Atalanta player who is having one of the most productive seasons of his career.

The German – who has been operating at left wing-back for the Nerazzurri this term – has eight goals and five assists to his name, an excellent return.

And it’s form that has reportedly interested Frank Lampard and Chelsea, who are in the market for a left-sided defender.

Atalanta have their huge, unexpected UEFA Champions League quarter-final in August, but before that they will have their hands full holding off AS Roma to once again finish in the top four and keep their place among Europe’s elite.

If they don’t, it may be harder to keep hold of in-demand assets such as Gosens.

Mattia Zaccagni (£0.48)

Verona

25 years old

Mattia Zaccagni declared how “frightened” he was back in March, when he was one of a number of Serie A players to contract coronavirus.

But having recovered quickly from the illness, the 25-year-old has had time to rediscover his fitness and he is expected to start in his side’s encounter with Cagliari on Saturday.

The advanced midfielder will hope he can carry on his fine form before the hiatus too. 

In his last 14 Serie A games he has registered three goals and an assist, and is a player that regularly populates the upper echelons of the Match Day rankings.

With Verona sitting eighth in the division, there is still a chance for them to secure European qualification for next year.

The form of Zaccagni, and the likes of former Chelsea forward Fabio Borini (£0.41) alongside him, will go a long way to deciding their fate.


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About Author

Rob is a football writer who has featured on MARCA, Crystal Palace and Mundial.

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