With the 2021-22 season just a few weeks away and with Italy having won the Euro 2020, it’s time we looked at the best Serie A players of 2020-21 season:
There was this growing consensus among football fans in the past few years that Serie A was on its way back to take its place as one of the best leagues in the world. Well, the 2020-21 season and the events that followed it proved that consensus to be a hard fact as Inter finally broke Juventus’ hold over the scudetto and an underdog Italy team, comprised of some of the
best Serie A players of 2020-21 season
, was led by Roberto Mancini to win the European Championship during the summer.
And if all that wasn’t enough, the wealth of talented foreign players, many of whom shined for their country in the Euros, should convince you of Serie A’s comeback. It seemed that catanaccio wasn’t the key for Italian teams to be back at the top but instead it was expansive attacking football, which many Serie A teams as well as Italy national team have adopted, that was to be their savior. So now with the context out of the way, let’s see who were the best Serie A players of 2020-21 season:
With Italy winning the Euro 2020 and Serie A starting to get back to its best once again, there were at least 20 players who could easily make the list but we have narrowed it to 10, so here are the best performing Serie A stars 2020/2021 Season:
If it wasn’t for the numerous injuries AC Milan suffered during last season, they might’ve given Inter Milan a run for their money in the Serie A title race. In fact they did so in the first half of the season and mainly thanks to their two full-backs Theo Hernandez and Davide Calabria, who both deserve a spot amongst the best XI of 2020-21 Serie A season but since Hernandez edges out Calabria a bit in terms of performances, the Frenchman gets the nod here.
Theo and his brother Lucas, who now plays as a left back for Bayern Munich, both started their career at Ateltico Madrid where their father also played. While his brother decided to stay at Atletico and later joined Bayern, Theo had a slightly harder route to rich his best since his to Real Madrid didn’t exactly pan out the way he wanted it to. But since joining AC Milan in the summer of 2019, Theo has gone from strength to strength, dazzling fans with his skills as a left back and being Milan’s standout player in both seasons. in fact we named him one of thebest defenders in Serie A
earlier in the season
As a left-back, Theo Hernandez is aggressively attack minded as his 7 goals and 5 assists would tell. But his defensive actions are nothing to scoff at either as he is one of the best defenders in the league in terms of making successful tackles (43) as well as successful blocks (60). While only 23, it seems that AC Milan have a player on their hand who as we’ve already seen this summer has many suitors. But if Milan were to once again compete for the top honors they must keep players like Hernandez as having one of the best Serie A players of 2020-21 season could only help their title chances!
Napoli’s ever faithful captain and main man never disappoints the fans as he seems to be the only Napoli player who is consistently among Serie A’s best players, season after season. and last season was no different as Insigne was one of the
best performing Serie A stars 2020/2021 season
in Napoli’s close race to secure one of the Champions League places. A race that Napoli lost much to Insigne’s dismay but he soon found glory with Italy in Euro 2020 to remedy that.
Under Gennaro Gattuso, Insigne more or less played his old position as a left attacking midfielder and sometimes a left winger who likes to cut in and create chance or take a long shot. Insigne truly has mastered that position and is one of the best left wingers in the world and he has the numbers to back this claim. Italy’s manager Roberto Mancini also used Insigne in that position which worked perfectly for Italy as he scored 2 goals and led the Azzuri to the European Championship.
managed to score 19 goals as well as assist 7 goals last season, becoming Napoli’s top scorer as well as one of the best Serie A players of 2020-21 season. with Dries Mertens’ reduced game time and goals tally, Lorenzo Insigne has stepped up big time and has delivered his best season at Napoli the way only a captain could and dragged Napoli to the Champions League. it was a pity that he didn’t get the result he wanted but a European Championship proved to be the greatest consolation prize!
Things to be going very well for Inter’s Nicolo Barella. After helping massively in Inter Milan’s efforts to win the Serie A in the past two seasons and finally succeeding last season, Barella even helped Italy win the Euro 2020 despite being the underdogs of the tournament. It was a while since Italy and Serie A had a mezzalla as good as Nicolo Barella and that is precisely why he is one of the best performing Serie A stars 2020/2021 Season as well as a contender for the Serie A Player of the Season 2020/21.
As terms as his role at Inter goes, Barella tends to play as a box-to-box midfielder or even a mezalla who has permission to roam freely. Barella can dribble and weave his way through defenders as well as take long shots from outside the box but what makes him truly dangerous is the way he progresses the ball with his passes, especially in the final third. In terms of progressive passes, Barella is 6th in the league with 226 passes but the quality of his passes is phenomenal, especially in his short passes which has a completion rate of 91%.
Apart from his build-up contributions to the team, Barella has also been a part of the end product of the attack as well where he has scored 3 goals and assisted 7 times, becoming one of the pillars of Conte’s Inter Milan. So for his role inInter Milan
’s much coveted 19th scudetto title, Nicolo Barella is one of our
best Serie A players of 2020-21 season
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s move from Borussia Dortmund to England never was a good move for the Armenian midfielder. Mkhitaryan is a traditional number 10 and he never fit in Mourinho’s Manchester. Then his swap deal to Arsenal that saw Alexis Sanchez go the other way never worked out for either player. It wasn’t until he joined Roma at the start of 2019-20 season that his career was put on track once again and after making his move to Roma permanent last season he proved why he is worth his high wages and why he stands high on the
players ranking for the Serie A 2020/2021
While Mkhitaryan used to favor playing on the flanks, his time at Roma has been mostly spent as an attacking midfielder who roams the area behind the striker. He has played a number of games on the wings as well. What makes his performances even more impressive is the fact that even though he was a playmaker last season, he was also AS Roma’s top goal scorer, with Broja Mayoral and Veretout also chipping in some goals as well.
With 13 goals and 10 assists in the Serie A, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was certainly AS Roma’s best player and one of the best Serie A players of 2020-21 season especially in the early part of the season. as far as the appointment of Jose Mourinho as Roma’s new manager goes, there doesn’t seem to be cause for any concern for Mkhi since his role has changed since his days at United and he is currently Roma’s best player. So Mourinho would be well to utilize him in the best way possible and perhaps with a quality striker in front of him, Roma could get back to Champions League places once again.
Rodrigo de Paul is one of the best signing of the 2021-22 season asAtletico Madrid
has acquired the midfielder’s services from Udinese in a smart bit of business. De Paul has been brilliant for Udinese since joining them in 2017 from Valencia but it wasn’t until last season that he truly hit his best. In fact, he not only was high amongst the players ranking for the Serie A 2020/2021 but he then went on play a crucial role in Argentina’s Copa America campaign and helped the country win its 15th Copa America title. he even assisted Argentina’s goal in the final with a brilliant through ball.
But let’s get back to the Serie A, where De Paul was one of the best passers in the league as well as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the league. De Paul is perhaps the most complete midfielder in our list, capable of both helping in defense as well as controlling Udinese’s attack. He has also been a player that has gone under the radar a bit since he has been consistently producing great numbers in the last 3 seasons.
Rodrigo De Paul’s 9 goals and 9 assists seem more impressive when you consider how deep he plays and is usually deployed as a central midfielder. Besides his impressive dribbling skills and creative vision, De Paul is known for his excellent long passes. He is way above any other midfielder in the amont of long passes completed and he is 3rd in the league in terms of progressive passes which transitions the team into attack. De Paul also has the best dribbles per game ratio in Serie A with 3.4.
It’s true that many only became aware of De Paul through his Copa America performances but when you look closely at his numbers at the club level you’ll soon realize that De Paul has been excellent for a while now which is why he is one of the best Serie A players of 2020-21 season.
Another Italian player that had one hell of a season that led to an unforgettable Euros is Sassuolo’s Domenico Berrardi, who played a huge part in taking Italy all the way to the finals. It’s not a stretch to say that Sassuolo’s emergence in Serie A and their continued presence in the top tier of Italian football is in a large part because of Domenico Berrardi. Despite being originally a Juventus player, Berrardi has spent his whole career at Sassuolo, taking them from Serie B to their last season’s 8th place finish in Serie A, becoming a part of the
best XI of 2020-21 Serie A season.
Despite his first two seasons at the club that saw him score 31 goals for Sassuolo, Berrardi seemed to have lost his finishing touch when it came to goal scoring until last season, where he once again was able to score more than 10 goals. he improved upon that much further in the 2020-21 season where he scored 17 goals in all competitions and was included in Italy’s Euro 2020 squad.
Although, Berrardi is by no means a graceful player to watch, his physicality and raw technique makes him a dangerous player in opposition’s final third, one who is capable of assisting goals as much as he is able to score them. He was Sassuolo’s best player in a team that had many great players and he finished the season with 17 goals and 7 assists. Despite the fact that Berrardi has more than 250 Serie A games under his belt, he is only 26 and will no doubt play a big role in Italy’s 2022 World Cup campaign if he keeps up playing like this.
Perhaps the most underrated player in top European leagues in the 2020-21 season was Atalanta’s Luis Muriel. In terms of attacking stats, Muriel is one of the top performers in Europe in almost every category per 90 minutes, which is a key factor since he didn’t start many games for Atalanta last season but he was a perfect impact substitution as well as being best performing Serie A stars 2020/2021 season.
Besides an 18-month spell at Sevilla, Muriel has spent the majority of his career at Serie A. the striker/winger made a name for himself by playing for Udinese but since joining Gasperini’s Atalanta at the start of the 2019-20 season has enjoyed a resurgence and has been in fact playing the best football of his career. Atalanta has a host of attacking players who are all great at their job and were in fact most of the the stars of their teams in Euro 2020. Which means that Gasperini rotates his players, especially forwards like Muriel a lot.
But here is the thing, that is exactly what sets Muriel aside from all the players on our list of best Serie A players of 2020-21 season. Muriel has only started 16 games last season and made 20 appearances from the bench, which makes him the player with the least amoun of game time on our list. And yet Muriel seems to work better when he is given less time because last season was his best season in terms of goals and assists in Serie A.
With an astonishing 22 goals and 7 assists in only 16 starts and a little over 1400 minutes of game time, Muriel was third in Serie A’s top scorer race behind Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo. He had an average of 1.82 assists+goals per 90 minutes which is the highest in the league and way clear than 2nd placed Lukaku (1.09) despite shooting half as much as the Portuguese. There is no doubt that Muriel is Gasperini’s secret weapon and knows how to get the best out of him.
The Lion apparently has no intention of retiring or even slowing down as Zlatan seems to be at the top of his game at 39 years of age. The Swedish attacker has won it all (except for Champions League) and once again has come back to Milan in order to help the Rossoneri to get back to its best. While he suffered several injuries during the season, Zlatan was so good when he played that we had to include him in our players ranking for the Serie A 2020/2021.
Zlatan may not like it but his age has made him injury prone which has been his only weak point in his time at AC Milan. We genuinely think that if it wasn’t for his injuries, Milan would’ve given Inter a run for their money in the title race, as they did in the first half of the season when Zlatan was fit for the most part. The quality that Ibrahimovic brings on the pitch and the leadership role he has taken in a somewhat young AC Milan side is massive and has put the club back on the map after several years of mediocrity.
In terms of his performances, Zlatan is as direct as ever. With 4.3 shots per game he is 2nd only to Ronaldo inSerie A
. he is also the 3rd in the league for aerial duels won per game with 4.5. with only 18 starts and a substitution appearance, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 15 goals and assisted twice, leading AC Milan once again to the Champions League and setting example for the young players. He is definitely one of the
best Serie A players of 2020-21 season
but we’ll have to see if you can do it again in the upcoming season.
What could be said about the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo that hasn’t been said before?! The guy seems unstoppable anywhere he goes. Even when his team is underperforming, like Juve did last season, Ronaldo seems unhindered by it and does his job the best way he can. Which in this case means winning the Serie A top scorer award and being a strong contender for the Serie A Player of the Season 2020/21.
Perhaps Juventus’ biggest problem sinceRonaldo joining them
has been that they have never played to the Portuguese’s strengths and they have been inconsistent in the systems they played since they’ve had 3 managerial changes in the 3 seasons he has been at the club. But Ronaldo always seems to get the job done as he is one of the most clinical finishers in the history of football. His long range efforts, aerial threats, finishing ability and near perfect record from the penalty spots makes him extremely dangerous even when his team is not playing to his strength.
Las season Ronaldo had the most shots per game in Serie A with an average of 5.3. he averaged 1 goal+assist per game and ended the season with 29 goals and 2 assists in 31 starts for Juventus. It’s incredible to look at his recent performances and see that he has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. The way he was named Euro 2020 top scorer with 5 goals even though he only played 4 games shows how much motivated he is and why he is still amongst the world’s elite players.
No matter who you support you got to admire Romelu Lukaku’s commitment and his desire to be among the best. The Belgian has experienced a lot of highs and lows in his career and when his dream move to United didn’t seem to pan out really well, some though that his days at the elite levels of European football was done. However, Lukaku has proven everyone wrong during his tenure at Inter Milan, becoming an instrumental figure in Inter’s success these past two seasons.
In his first season at Inter, Romelu Lukaku made an excellent partnership with Lautaro Martinez and the pair led Inter to a 2nd place finish in Serie A as well as a Europa League final. Lukaku scored 34 goals in all competitions. This season however, Lukaku has taken more leadership responsibilities and has almost dragged Inter to their 19th scudetto title by partnering up with the likes of Martinez and Aschraf Hakimi. He was even named
Serie A Player of the Season 2020/21
(Most Valuable Player).
The Belgian managed to score 24 goals and register 11 assists, being second best in the league in both categories behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Roslan Malinovskiy in goals and assists respectively. Lukaku’s legendary status among Inter fans is already confirmed but if the Nerazzurri want to keep winning things, they must build their team around him, because at the moment there is no better player than Lukaku in Serie A!