Sergej Milinković-Savić (21), Lazio
After spurning the advances of Fiorentina in favour of a move to Lazio last summer, the pressure was immediately on Milinković-Savić. The 21-year-old was in and out of the side under Stefano Pioli but will be looking to become a regular under Simone Inzaghi. As a box-to-box midfielder, the Serbian showed his talent alongside fellow youngster Danilo Cataldi and has given the Biancocelesti fans a lot of reason to be optimistic for the season ahead.
Adalberto Peñaranda (19), Udinese (on loan from Watford)
As part of the partnership between Watford and Udinese, Peñaranda has joined the Zebrette to help fill the void of Antonio Di Natale. In a notably younger Udinese side, the Venezuelan will be looking to carry on his fantastic form from the second half of last season as he helped Granada avoid the drop. With five goals and three assists from 23 La Liga appearances, the 19-year-old will be looking to build on that record under Beppe Iachini.
Stefano Sensi (21), Sassuolo
Sassuolo were able to beat Juventus to the signing of Stefano Sensi from Cesena in January, but immediately loaned the midfielder back to the Serie B outfit. The 21-year-old joined up with the Neroverdi squad this summer and has looked very sharp in pre-season, playing in the regista role. Since their promotion to Serie A in 2013, Sassuolo have been notorious for bringing through young players – particularly Italian ones – and Sensi looks like being the next player on the ever-growing list of future stars.
Federico Dimarco (18), Empoli (on loan from Inter)
The Inter left-back had a loan spell at Ascoli in January and looked solid as he got his first taste of professional football. The Nerazzurri will now be hoping that he can take the next step at Empoli, a hotbed for young talents in the past few years, with Piotr Zieliński, Riccardo Saponara, Elseid Hysaj and Lorenzo Tonelli all having thrived at the Tuscan club since their promotion to Serie A in 2013-14 under Maurizio Sarri. However, the 18-year-old will have to do a little more to impress new head coach Giovanni Martusciello as he has opted for the experienced Manuel Pasqual at left-back in pre-season.
M’Baye Niang (21), AC Milan
The Frenchman showed signs of his potential last season, scoring five goals and assisting four in an injury-hit campaign, but could be set for a breakout season in 2016-17. Niang joined Milan in 2012 and has been a source for frustration at times, but since a loan spell at Genoa, the 21-year-old has looked confident and assured. Ahead of Vincenzo Montella’s debut season in charge of the Rossoneri, he will be hoping that Niang can form a formidable partnership with Carlos Bacca as Milan look to end a three-year exile from European football.
Kevin Diks (19), Fiorentina
Signed from Vitesse in July, Kevin Diks is an example of Fiorentina’s new transfer strategy under sporting director Pantaleo Corvino. The 66-year-old stated that La Viola would now look at signing young players with a lot of potential, hoping to develop them for the first team. Diks fits that description perfectly and Paulo Sousa should push the 19-year-old Dutchman to the next level. He was signed for around €2.5 million and could play at right-back in a four-man system, or he could play as a right wing-back in a three-man defence. Regardless of which system he is in, Diks will no doubt thrive under Sousa.
Marko Pjaca (21), Juventus
There was a tug-of-war over the signature of Marko Pjaca this summer, with both AC Milan and Juventus keen to secure the Croatian winger. With his performances at Euro 2016, the 21-year-old attracted a lot of interest and that resulted in the Bianconeri paying €23 million for his services. Though it will be tough for Pjaca to hold down a place in Massimiliano Allegri’s first team, he will be hoping that he can play a part in Juventus’ aims of retaining their domestic trophies, along with making a deep run in the Champions League. Fans of Celtic will remember Pjaca for a hat-trick he scored against them for Dinamo Zagreb.
Ádám Nagy (21), Bologna
In one of the more understated transfers of the summer, Hungary’s diminutive regista Ádám Nagy joined Bologna from Ferencváros. There is no doubt that they signed the 21-year-old to replace the exciting Amadou Diawara, who has been strongly linked with a move to Roma and Napoli. It will be the job of Nagy to sit in front of the back four and intercept passes in behind, while also being smart in possession. Alongside Godfred Donsah and Saphir Taïder in midfield, the Hungarian will be fun to watch.
Gerson (19), Roma
Roma fought off plenty of competition from some of Europe’s biggest sides to sign Brazilian playmaker Gerson from Fluminense in January, loaning him back until the summer, and he could be a valuable asset for head coach Luciano Spalletti. He joined the club on their pre-season tour of the USA and showed glimpses of what he has to offer. Able to play central midfield, behind the striker or as an attacking winger, the 19-year-old should find a way to contribute to the Giallorossi’s success in this upcoming campaign.
Nicola Murru (21), Cagliari
As the only member on this list from a promoted side, Nicola Murru’s main aim will be ensuring that Cagliari remain in Serie A. The Rossoblu waltzed to promotion, winning the division, and Murru was a constant presence in the side. The last time that Cagliari were in Italy’s top division, the preferred option at left-back was Danilo Avelar, but that will not be the case under Massimo Rastelli. Along with the additions of Bruno Alves and Mauricio Isla in defence, Cagliari’s back line will be a key asset in determining their safety this year.