THEY DESERVE MORE ACCOLADES (SERIE A EDITION)

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Football can be a very unappreciative sports where the best performers are overlooked for those who are deemed more popular and marketable by the media in order to drive traffic to their blogs or television programs. Over the course of the season, there are certain players who perform admirably in their respective positions but get very little to no attention. This could be as a result of the team he plays for or because they are not what I call the headline hugging class.

This article seeks to identify these players in the different leagues and highlight their qualities. Our first stop is going to be the Italian Serie A.

GLEISON BREMER (TORINO)

Gleison is a commanding Brazilian centre back whose stock has rapidly this season due to his excellent performances for the Turin side. Bremer arrived at Torino in 2018 as a relatively unknown and has gradually improved through the three years he's been there. In the 2021/2022 season Torino with the help of Bremer has blunted out the like of Juventus ad Inter Milan and champions AC Milan only scored one goal in 180mins against Bremer.

Stats shows that the Brazilian stalwart leads the league in interceptions (3.4 per 90mins), while on three players has bettered his 4.2 clearances per game. He has an 82% pass completion rate, which shows that he's also good in possession. He also ranks third in aerial duels won with 4.1 per 90minutes.

Bremer is not only astute with his defensive duties, he's also a big threat in the opposition's penalty area, as the 11 goals he's scored in the last 3 seasons is the most any defender has managed in the Italian serie A in this same period. It seems that Italy has molded him into a rugged man-marker, while his Brazilian roots means he's comfortable with the ball at his feet.

He was so good in their goalless draw with AC Milan that Corriere dello Sport remarked that "he's ready for a better club". If rumours are to be believed, then the like of Man Utd, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Juventus etc., are after the defense enforcer.

PIERRE KALULU (AC MILAN)

The Pierre Kalulu story is actually an unusual one. The defender was signed from the Lyon B side 18months ago. It's good to note that Lyon thought him either not good enough or not ready to be promoted to the first team. That was when Milan swooped in and signed the player as a backup for first choice right back Davide Calabria.

In his first season, the defender who wasn't good enough for Lyon made 17 appearances for Milan (alternating between FB and CB), showing excellent promise and technical proficiency. But it wasn't until this season that the Frenchman really shone through.

Kalulu started the season in similar fashion, as a cover for right back and Centre back. In the Centre back position, he began the season as a backup for the likes of Simon Kjaer, club captain Alessio Romagnoli, and Fikayo Tomori.

It wasn't until Simon Kjaer suffered a season ending injury and Romagnoli started picking up niggling knocks that Kalulu's opportunity really came. An opportunity he has grasped with both hands without looking back. His partnership with Tomori has laid the perfect foundation for the team to run a successful scudetto race.

Kalulu is young, gifted, quick, technically gifted and above all a good professional, but then when the Milan team that just won the scudetto is mentioned, you'll most definitely be hearing of Giroud, Kessie, Zlatan and Rafael Leao. Kalulu deserves all the accolades for his performances this season. With him, Milan can easily say bye to their captain Romagnoli and veteran Kjaer without missing their quality.

DOMENICO BERARDI (SASSUOLO)

Domenico Berardi is an Italian international who's been shuttling between Sassuolo and Juventus in search of a home for himself. But after joining Sassuolo permanently in 2015, the 27 year old winger finally became of age this season. He's finally fulfilling the potential that Juve had seen to sign him in 2013.

Berardi has played 33 times this season, scoring 15 goals and contributing 17 assists to the Sassuolo course this season. That is 32 goal contributions in 33 appearances, scoring a goal every 189 minutes (which is just above 2 full matches) and giving an assist every 174 minutes (which is less than 2 full matches). That's no mean stats for a player who's playing for a mid-table average team. A proficient right wing forward, Berardi is technically gifted, explosive and has an eye for a pass.

Still in the ripe years of 27 (which is seen as a peak year in football), Berardi might just be hitting top form at the right time and I would definitely be surprised if by August he's still at Sassuolo.

I know that I've not been able to cover all the players that deserve mentions in the Italian series A in this post for now. But then sit tight as the ones from La Liga and Premier League are coming, and who knows, maybe more from serie A.

Welcome and thank you for visiting my blog, you can be rest assured of quality content on diverse topics. Please do well to engage in the comments section, and it'll be my pleasure to reply


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