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Best Serie A wingers of 2021

Fri 08 April 2022 | 14:30

The Italian top-flight competition, Serie A is home to some of the world class players. In this article, we take a look into the best Serie A wingers in 2021.

2021 was a special year for the Italian top – flight football competition, known as Serie A – for football fans. It was the year Juventus's 9 – year domination over the league came to an end, as

Inter Milan

achieved their 19th ever Italian League title.

Moreover, Italy national team's conquest of EURO 2020 – which was held in 2021 – has brought more attention to Serie A than any other time during the last decade.

While Serie A has been widely considered as a defensive league in which teams use heavy defensive tactics, some of the best wingers and attackers in the world of football are currently playing in Italy.

In addition to that,

Roberto Mancini

's Italy national team has shown no desire to merely utilize defensive set - ups in their games. The league has been giving rise to a number of attackers during the last couple of years, and now Italian teams' squad are filled with world – class wingers.

The position of a 'winger' is now more decisive in different football managers' minds than it has ever been in the world of football. Not only do they carry a heavy burden of the attacking set – ups, wingers are also expected to take part in defensive acts very often.

They are usually fast, technically skilled players with great vision and they also must be expert to cut inside or send accurate crosses. Inter won the 2020/21 Serie A title as Antonio Conte's preferred formation (3 – 5 – 2 ) required outstanding performances from the winger – backs.

Juventus – despite having a disappointing season in the league – won the Coppa Italia and the Italian Super Cup as their wingers shined through the competitions. And most notably, Italian wingers played a pivotal role in Azzurri's achieving their 2nd ever European Championship title. Furthermore, the wingers have been a solid presence for other prominent Serie A clubs as well.

Best Serie A wingers of 2021:

In the following article, we are going to go through the names of the

best Serie A wingers of 2021

, and have an overview of their stats and numbers throughout the year.

Federico Chiesa

  • Full name: Federico Chiesa

  • Date of birth: 25 October 1997 (age 24)

  • Place of birth: Genoa, Italy

  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Position(s): Winger

  • Current team: Juventus (on loan from Fiorentina)

Federico Chiesa

kept a luminous presence for Juvebtus in his first season with Bianconeri as his teams had to face its own ups and downs. Moreover, he was a determining presence for Azzurri during the EURO 2021.

Having joined Juventus in the summer of 2020, the 24 – year – old became a regular starter as he showed excellent technical finesse. He played a key role in

Juventus

finishing 2020/21 Serie A 4th and thus being qualified for the UEFA Champions League.

Chiesa scored 9 goals and provide assists for 9 further within 33 appearances for Juventus during the season. Moreover, he possesses astounding skills with the ball which made him a nightmare for the defenders as he averaged 1.6 completed dribbles per match throughout the season.

Chiesa also has admirable spatial awareness and passing range which enabled him to send a total 50 key passes and make 18 big scoring chances. He stood 4th among the creative players who created the most number of big chances during the season.

Moreover, Chiesa remained consistent in his performances during the season and became a vital player for Italy on their way to EURO 2020 triumph.

He played in all of Italy's 7 matches in the competition and managed to score 2 decisive goals: he hit the target in Italy's 2 – 1 victory over Austria in the round of 16, and also scored in the semi – finals 1 – 1 draw against Spain which ended with Italy winning 4 – 2 in Penalty shoot – outs.

Chiesa has showcased the potential to become something special by the time he is at the pinnacle of his career. Italy fans have pinned their hopes on him. We have to wait and see how much the talented winger can excel in his game.

Domenico Berardi

  • Full name: Domenico Berardi

  • Date of birth: 1 August 1994 (age 27)

  • Place of birth: Cariati, Italy

  • Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

  • Position(s): Forward

  • Current team: Sassuolo

Sassuolo's winger has not only been one of the

best Serie A wingers of 2021

, but he was also one of the best players of the league.

The 27 – year – old player is currently his club's leading goal scorer of all time with more than 115 goals across all competitions. He was a part of the title – winning Italy in EURO 2020 as well.

He recorded the most prolific season of his professional career in 2020/21 with Sassuolo:

Berardi

scored 17 goals and provided 7 assists for his team throughout the competition within 30 appearances, which means he was directly involved in 37.5% of Sassuolo's total goals in the league.

Moreover, Domenico Berardi's tactical intelligence coupled with his great vision enabled him to send a total of 58 key passes (1.9 per match) and create a total of 10 big scoring chances for his team during the campaign.

In addition to attacking tasks, his defensive work rate has seen him be as one of the best examples as a complete winger; Berardi won a total of 57 ball possessions in the midfield and 28 in the final 3rd.

He has delivered on the expectations fans have built during the first half of 2021/22 season as well, where upon scoring 12 goals and providing 11 assists, he is the league's top assist provider and 7th best goal scorer by February of 2022.

In addition, Berardi is known for his tenacity, technical skills with the ball, and great pace. He provided an assist for Italy during EURO 2020 during their 2nd group stage match against Switzerland, and converted Italy's first spot – kick in the penalty shoot – outs of the final game against England which ended with a 3 – 2 win for Italy, and thus the conquest of EURO 202O title.

Lorenzo Insigne

  • Full name: Lorenzo Insigne

  • Date of birth: 4 June 1991 (age 30)

  • Place of birth: Frattamaggiore, Naples, Italy

  • Height: 1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)

  • Position(s): Winger

  • Current team: Napoli

Napoli's 30 – year – old Captain seems to be at his peak while it has recently been announced that

Insigne

will join the MLS side Toronto FC in the summer of 2022. The short – statured player had one of the best years of his career in 2021.

He was a pivotal player of the EURO 2020 Champions Italy, and was also a decisive presence in Napoli's squad. He scored more league goals than any other winger in 2020/21Serie A.

Insigne's most prolific season in terms of the number of goals scored in Serie A was 2020/21, where he managed to hit the target 19 times as well as setting up his teammates with a total 7 assists throughout the Serie A season within 35 matches.

He was directly involved in almost 30% of Napoli's total goals in the league and played a vital role in the team's finishing 5th and qualifying for the Europe League.

Moreover, as he has showcased his aptitude for getting past the defenders with his great technical skills, Insigne completed 1.9 successful dribbles per match during the season and was the best of his team, and 10th in the league.

Furthermore,

Napoli

's winger displayed a great performance in creating scoring situations for his teammates as well by sending an average of 1.8 key passes per game, in addition to create a total of 12 big chances, which are both records among his team's squad.

Moreover, Insigne has maintained his form to the new season where he has managed to score 7 goals and provide 6 assists for Partenopei during 2021/22 in Serie within 22 appearances by the February of 2022.

Additionally, Insigne was a regular starter for Azzurri at EURO 2020. He featured in 6 games for Italy throughout the competition and found the back of the net 2 times: He scored a goal in the opening match of the tournament against Turkey as Italy beat the opponent 3 – 0, and also scored a pivotal goal in Italy's 2 – 1 victory over Belgium in the quarter finals.

Later, the goal placed second in UEFA's "2020–21 Goal of the Season," behind only Mehdi Taremi's overhead kick goal for FC Porto against Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Furthermore, the visionary player once again showed his stellar ability in passing as he set up his teammates with a total of 13 key passes during the competition, the second best record of the tournament which was only fewer than his fellow countrymen Marco Verratti who sent 14 key passes.

Moreover, no other player managed to make as many solo runs into the penalty area as Insigne (16). Insigne has carved his name in the history book of 'Partenopei' as well as the Italian league, and he is regarded as one of the

best Serie A players ever

.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

  • Full name: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

  • Date of birth: 21 January 1989 (age 33)

  • Place of birth: Yerevan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union

  • Height: 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder, winger

  • Current team: Roma

Mkhitaryan

was a solid presence for

A.S. Roma

during 2020/21 season upon netting 13 goals and providing 10 assists throughout the league. He helped I Giallorossi to a 7th league rank finish and Europa Conference League qualification.

The Armenian player had direct impact on 23 out of 68 Roma's total goals during the league. Moreover, his performances in one on one situations were also astounding as he recorded an average of 1.5 successful dribbles per match. Mkhitaryan sent a total of 48 key passes throughout the league (1.5) per game, and created 12 big chances, both second best records of Roma's squad behind Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Achraf Hakimi

  • Full name: Achraf Hakimi Mouh

  • Date of birth: 4 November 1998 (age 23)

  • Place of birth: Madrid, Spain

  • Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)

  • Position(s): Right-back

  • Current team: Paris Saint-Germain

Regarded as one of the best players of the world in his position, the Moroccan player achieved the Serie A trophy with Inter Milan under Antonio Conte's leadership in his one – year spell at Italy, and helped his team end Juventus's 9 – year domination over the title.

He was a standout performer for his team at 2020/21 Serie A. Having the capability to play in defense or frontline,

Hakimi

was deployed as a wing – back in the 3 – 5 – 2 formation used by Inter's coach. He had pivotal responsibilities both in attack set ups as well as defensive tasks, and he managed to succeed in both.

Hakimi scored 7 goals and provided 8 assists for Nerazzurri during 2020/21 Serie A season, and is indubitably one of the nominees for the

best Serie A player 2021

in every poll.

Moreover, the 23 – year – old player created a total of 9 big chances and sent 36 key passes for his teammates during the season. In addition, he was a vital presence for the Blue and Blacks defense system as well, where he won a total of 45 ball possessions – 15 of which in the final 3rd – won 32 tackles, 22 interceptions, and 15 clearances.

His luminous performances saw him emerge as one of the most luring players in the summer transfer window, and he was finally signed by the French side Paris Saint - Germain with a reported transfer fee of €60m.

Widely regarded as one of the fastest players on earth, Hakimi's versatility that enables him to play either as a right – back, a wing – back, and even as a winger has made the Moroccan player one of the best players in his position. With regard to his age, it is said that he can be one of the bests in history by the time he is at his peak.

Robin Gosens

  • Full name: Robin Everardus Gosens

  • Date of birth: 5 July 1994 (age 27)

  • Place of birth: Emmerich am Rhein, Germany

  • Height: 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)

  • Position(s): Left wing-back

  • Current team: Inter Milan (on loan from Atalanta)

The German left midfielder – who is currently on loan from Atalanta to Inter Milan – has been one of the best players of his team in recent years. He scored 11 goals and provided 6 assists for Atalanta during 2020/21 Serie A season within 32 appearances.

He played a vital role in Atalanta placing 3rd at the end of the competition thus qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. The 27 – year – old player sent a total of 29 key passes and created 7 big chances during the competition.

In addition to his excellent contribute to the frontline Gosens's defensive performances have been admirable as well.

Gosens

completed 1.1 successful tackles per match with an astonishing success rate of 76.1%. The percentage is more than any other player in the league.

Moreover, he made 41 interceptions and 31 clearances throughout the season. Since the January of 2022, he is playing for Inter Milan on loan from Atalanta for half a season. However, there are obligations to buy if certain situations are met.

Moreover, Gosens represented Germany in EURO 2020, where he played in all of Mannschaft's 4 matches, and managed to score 1 goal and provide an assist to 1 further. Both his assist and goal were occurred in Germany's crashing 4 – 2 win against the defending champions Portugal in a group stage match. Gosens was the second player among Germany's squad with the most key passes per game (5) only behind Joshua Kimmich (7).

He was one of Germany's best players throughout the tournament although they couldn't get past the round of 16 where they were beaten by the eventual finalists England.

Hirving Lozano

  • Full name: Hirving Rodrigo Lozano Bahena

  • Date of birth: 30 July 1995 (age 26)

  • Place of birth: Mexico City, Mexico

  • Height: 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Position(s): Winger

  • Current team: Napoli

Napoli's Mexican winger was one of best Serie A wingers of 2021. He netted 11 goals and provided 3 assists during 2020/21 season for Partenopei within 32 matches.

Hirving Lozano

also sent 14 key passes, made 6 interceptions, and performed 6 clearances.

Josip Ilicic

  • Full name: Josip Ilicic

  • Date of birth: 29 January 1988 (age 34)

  • Place of birth: Prijedor, SFR Yugoslavia

  • Height: 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)

  • Position(s): Second striker, winger

  • Current team: Atalanta

The left – footed player can be deployed as a winger, attacking midfielder, and a second striker. He has been a shining presence for Atalanta during recent seasons. Ilicic was the most creative player of 2020/21 Serie A season upon creating 20 big chances.

Moreover, the 34 – year – old player scored 6 goals and registered 9 assists for his teammates during the said season.

The tall – statured player has shown his expertise in beating defenders, and by completing an average of 2.0 successful dribbles per match throughout the season, he recorded the best number among his teammates, and was placed 8th among all Serie A players.

Furthermore, Ilicic's outstanding vision coupled with his spatial awareness and elegant passing ability has seen him as one of the best playmakers of the league where he sent 2.2 key passes per match, which was the 4th best record of the season.

He has been maintaining his good form ever since he arrived at Bergamo in 2017, and has earned the nickname "the professor" by Italian media. From early 2022, Ilicic has been suffering from alleged mental health problems and was absent from the Atalanta's squad.

Junior Messias

  • Full name: Walter Messias Júnior

  • Date of birth: 13 May 1991 (age 30)

  • Place of birth: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder, forward

  • Current team: AC Milan (on loan from Crotone)

A.C. Milan's new signing for 2021/22 season seems to have deserved the loan - move due to his luminous performance for Crotone throughout 2020/21 Serie A season.

The left – footed player was undoubtedly one of the

best Serie A wingers of 2021

despite playing for the relegated Crotone during the first half of the year. He scored 9 goals and provided 4 assists in a relegated team.

He was directly involved in 285 of his team's goals, yet he couldn't prevent tham from relegating to Serie B. However, his great performances paid off and he made a move to one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

In addition to that, Messias was Serie A's 4th best dribbler upon completing 2.9 successful dribbles per game during the season. He has shown a natural flair in taking on defenders which is a necessary characteristic of a brilliant winger.

Moreover, Junior Messias graced his team by sending a total of 32 key passes and creating 6 big chances during the competition.

In addition, he is a great contributor to his team's defensive plays as well as offensive ones: Messias won 35 tackles, 35 interceptions, and 39 clearances which are all astonishing numbers for a winger.

Moreover, his elegant touch on the ball alongside his great technique made him a sporadic starter for Rossoneri during the 2021/22 season.

Daniele Verde

  • Full name: Daniele Verde

  • Date of birth: 20 June 1996 (age 25)

  • Place of birth: Naples, Italy

  • Height: 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)

  • Position(s): Winger

  • Current team: Spezia

Spezia's right winger's performance has been eye catching during the last year. He made a name for himself as he helped his club to finish 15th at the end of 2020/21 Serie A thus avoiding relegation.

He scored 6 goals and provided an assist for one further during 21 league matches last season. His solid performance left

Spezia

no choice but to sign him permanently from the Greek side AEK Athens in the summer of 2021.

Additionally, the 25 – year – old player has remained consistent in his performance into the 2021/22 season where he has managed to score 5 goals and provide 3 assists for his team, which account for nearly 28% of his team's goals during this season.

Verde is an A.S. Roma youth academy product. After representing Roma's youth level teams, he made his debut for the senior team in the January of 2015. After featuring in 7 games for I Giallorossi throughout 2014/15 season, his successive loan – moves was about to begin: from 2015 to 2019 Verde was loaned out to Frosinone, Pescara, Avellino, Hellas Verona, and the Spanish club Real Valladolid, all while he was still under contract with .S. Roma.

Eventually, he was signed permanently by the Greek side AEK Athens in 2019, and after spending only 1 season at Greece Super League, he made another loan move to Spezia in the September of 2020, where he has recently succeeded to be a standout winger of the league. Spezia completed the signing of the Italian winger in the July of 2021 with a said transfer fee of €600Th.

Although he has represented Italy U19 and U21 teams, he has not yet received the chance to play for his country's senior side. However, if he keeps his bright form, it wouldn’t be far – fetched if he make his debut for Azzurri in the upcoming months.

Alexis Saelemaekers

  • Full name: Alexis Jesse Saelemaekers

  • Date of birth: 27 June 1999 (age 22)

  • Place of birth: Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Belgium

  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)

  • Position(s): Winger

  • Current team: Milan

A.C. Milan

seems to be finally overcoming the strenuous period they were struggling with under Stefano Pioli's leadership. Their long – awaited return to the UEFA Champions League after 7 years finally happened in 2021 after finishing runner – ups in the Serie A.

In Stefano Pioli's mostly used 4 – 2 – 3 – 1 formation wingers play an extremely vital role, and one of the wingers who shined through 2021 for Rossoneri was the Belgium Saelemaekers.

The 22 – year – old player was signed by A.C. Milan from the Belgian side Anderlecht in 2020, and he has showcased his great technical abilities as well as his tactical intelligence so far. Saelemaekers has been a dependable player in his coach's tactical schemes for the games, as he played in 32 Serie A games for the club, scoring 2 goals and providing 4 assists.

In addition to that, he sent 30 key passes and created 6 big chances throughout the season, making him one of the best players of his team in both respects.  Moreover, Saelemaekers has featured in 28 Serie A games for A.C. Milan this season and has managed to score 1 goal and set up his teammates with 3 more.

He has also recorded 1.5 successful dribbles per match during the current season, only fewer Rafael Leao (2.8) among A.C Milan squad. Moreover, he has shown to have a great ability in defensive tasks as he has won a total of 42 ball possessions – 21 of which in the final 3rd – and is currently Serie A's 6th player with the most possessions won final 3rd.

It is believed that he is indeed one of the most promising players who have the potential to excel in different facets of his game in the future.

Rafael Leao

  • Full name: Rafael Alexandre da Conceição Leão

  • Date of birth: 10 June 1999 (age 22)

  • Place of birth: Almada, Portugal

  • Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)

  • Position(s): Forward

  • Current team: AC Milan

Milan's Portuguese has been showcasing a natural flair for football.  Leao netted 6 goals and provided 6 assists within 30 Serie A games for Rossoneri during 2020/21. He was his team's 2nd best assist provider of the season behind Hakan Calhanoglu.

Rafael Leao

's astonishing performances saw him emerge as one of the most talented young players across the Europe. His form has even been more eye – catching during the current season, as the 22 – year – old left – winger has scored 8 league goals as well as providing 3 assists during 2021/22 season so far.

In addition to goals and assists, Leao has displayed his astounding ability in taking defenders on. He possesses a great burst of pace and is adept at executing quick turns. Those characteristics alongside his incredible technique with the ball have made him one of the best dribbles of the Italian league, and one of the most luring players for the fans to watch him play.

Leao completed 40 successful dribbles throughout 2020/21 (an average of 1.3 successful dribbles per match) which was only fewer than Theo Hernandez - who averaged 2.2 successful dribbles per match – among A.C. Milan players. Moreover, he managed to send 27 key passes throughout the season, and helped the defensive set – ups upon making 12 clearances and 4 interceptions.

Moreover, On 3 January 2021, he netted Milan's second goal in a 2-0 away win against Benevento in Serie A, becoming the second youngest foreign player to score 10+ goals for A.C. Milan in Serie A (21 years and 207 days), after only Alexandre Pato (19 years and 19 days).

Furthermore, he has been given more play time during the current season, and he seems to be exploiting the opportunity. Leao is currently A.C. Milan's top scorer of the season alongside Zlatan Ibrahomovic and Olivier Giroud with 8 goals.

Notably, Leao is currently the player with the most Serie A take – ons this season with an average of 2.8 successful dribbles per match. Regarded as a promising prospect, A.C. Milan fans have pinned their hopes on him for the future.

Mattia Zaccagni

  • Full name: Mattia Zaccagni

  • Date of birth: 16 June 1995 (age 26)

  • Place of birth: Cesena, Italy

  • Height: 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Position(s): Midfielder, striker

  • Current team: Lazio (on loan from Hellas Verona)

Mattia Zaccagni

has been playing for Lazio since the summer of 2021 on loan from Hellas Verona. Zaccagni's bright performance for Hellas Verona during 2020/21 sparked Lazio's interest to sign a 1 – year loan – contract with the 26 – year – old winger.

He managed to score 5 goals and provide 5 assists for his team during 2020/21 Serie A season, which accounted for 21.75 of Hellas Verona's total goals. Moreover, Zaccagni ability in beating defenders has been a huge facet of his game, where upon completing 1.7 successful dribbles per match throughout 2020/21 he was the best player of his team and one of the bests of the league.

In addition, his total 39 key passes coupled with making 11 big chances during the season have aroused the admiration of football fans. Moreover, Zaccagni's won a total of 70 ball possessions in the midfield and 23 in the final 3rd, making him one of the most successful wingers of the league in that respect.

Moreover, he has retained his form into the current season with Lazio as well, where he has scored 6 goals and provided 5 assists within 22 appearances so far. Furthermore, no Lazio player has managed to complete more take – ons than Zaccagni this season (1.5 successful dribbles per match).

He has also sent 25 key passes during the league so far (an average of 1.1 per match) standing only behind Luiz Alberto (1.8 per match) and Felipe Anderson (1.4 per match) among the 'Eagles' squad.

With regard to his satisfying performance and his age, we might hear a lot more from the technically gifted player in near future.

Felipe Anderson

  • Full name: Felipe Anderson Pereira Gomes

  • Date of birth: 15 April 1993 (age 28)

  • Place of birth: Santa Maria, DF, Brazil

  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder

  • Current team: Lazio

There can't be a list of best wingers without a Brazilian inside of it. Lazio's winger Felipe Anderson has recovered his good form since his return to Italy's Capital in the summer of 2021.

Anderson has featured in 28 Serie A games for the club throughout 2021/22 season of Serie A and has managed to score 5 goals as well as providing 7 assists.

Furthermore, the 28 – year – old player is expert at beating defenders where upon averaging 1.7 successful dribbles per match, he has been the player with the most take – ons among

Lazio

squad, which is not surprising for a Brazilian winger.

In addition, the visionary player has sent a total of 1.4 key passes per game during the season so far which places him only behind his Spanish teammate Luis Alberto (1.8) among the teams' players. Remarkably, Anderson has created 9 big chances so far and is currently the 5th most creative player of Serie A.

In addition to that,  his capability in wining possessions is phenomenal, where he has won 22 ball possessions in the final 3rd this season, more than any other Lazio player and only fewer than Inter's Lautaro Martinez (25) and Hellas Verona's Antonin Barak.

Regarded as a technically gifted player with lightning pace and quick feet, Anderson had previously played for Lazio from 2013 to 2018. He later represented West Ham United and FC Porto and returned to Italy in the July of 2021.

He is good at scoring as well as setting up his teammates with goal opportunities, in addition to being adept at taking on defenders. While he was regarded as one of the most promising young talents in the world of football, Anderson does not seem to have fulfilled his full potential so far.

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