Serie A and Serie B
Maxwell Acosty (Latina): The 24-year-old Ghanaian attacker played 89 minutes at right wing in Saturday's 3-1 win against Livorno, picking up a yellow card in the 82nd minute. He headed in Latina's only goal in the 2-1 loss at Virtus Lanciana, which puts his season tally at 5 in 15 matches (all starts), along with 2 assists. The light may finally be coming on, and another versatile (can play on either wing or through the middle) and pacey attacker is never a bad thing to have.
Filippo Bandinelli (Latina): The 20-year-old left winger (and occasional makeshift central midfielder) remains frozen out of manager Mario Somma's squad. He's played 63 minutes across 2 games, and hasn't even been named to the bench since October. It'll probably take an injury for him to get into the squad.
Joshua Brillante (Como): The 22-year-old Australian played all of 9 minutes in Sunday's surprising 1-1 draw at then Serie B leaders Cagliari. That brings the hirsute defensive midfielder's totals for the season to 3 starts and 5 substitute appearances, during which he's been cautioned twice. With the Lariani in last place, manager Gianluca Festa should maybe give him a chance, because the current plan sure isn't working.
Leonardo Capezzi (Crotone): The 20-year-old midfield boss played all 90 minutes in 2-0 win against Cesena, as per his usual. He's started 14 games for the Squali, and been subbed in twice, tallying a goal, an assist, and 4 yellow cards (including one in the 0-1 win at Spezia last week). The U20 international has been a revelation for first-place Crotone, and could make the senior squad next year.
Nicolò Fazzi (Virtus Entella): The 20-year-old U21 international has dropped to the bench for the Diavoli Neris' last two games (an away win and a home draw). Hopefully he can win back manager Alfredo Aglietti's favor soon and retake the pitch, where he's started 10 games, mostly as a central midfielder instead of his customary right wing.
Cedric Gondo (Ternana): The 19-year-old Ivorian attacker played 19 minutes in Saturday's 1-2 win at Pro Vercelli. On the year, he's started 5 matches in 9 appearances for the 16th-place Rossoverdi, notching an assist and a yellow card. Manager Roberto Breda is still trying to find the right combination, so expect him to waver between the first eleven and the bench for the rest of the year.
Gianluca Mancini (Perugia): The 19-year-old center back remains nailed to the bench. With the Grifoni sitting 9th, manager Pierpaoli Bisoli doesn't have any reason to change anything, so an injury is probably the only path for the former U19 international to see the pitch.
Amidu Salifu (Perugia): The 23-year-old midfield enforcer remains frozen out of Bisoli's squad. Exactly why remains a mystery, but this is shaping up to be a lost season for Salifu, who's surely running out of time to prove himself to his parent club.
Ryder Matos (Carpi): The 22-year-old Brazilian attacker spent Saturday's scoreless draw against AC Milan on the bench. As new manager Giuseppe Sannino tries to pull the club to safety, Matos, who was an unquestioned starter under the previous regime, apparently needs to earn his starting berth back. With just two goals in Serie A and none since early October, it's easy to see why, although there's hardly a glut of attacking talent behind him. He should regain his spot with ease.
Lorenzo Venuti (Brescia): The 20-year-old fullback was benched for Friday's scoreless draw at Virtus Entella. He was suspended the week before for a red card, and so missed out on the Leonessa's shocking 4-0 win against Cagliari. Hopefully, manager Roberto Boscaglia was merely holding him out to make a point, and the U20 international will retake his spot in the first XI; as he's started every game except for the past two this season, smart money's on him roaring back with a vengeance.
Luca Zanon (Virtus Entella): The 19-year-old left back has fought his way back onto the bench, but hasn't appeared in a game in over a month, with Aglietti preferring homegrown prospect Cheick Keita instead. Looks like the U19 international will have to wait for next year to fully establish himself as a starter somewhere else.
Lower Italian leages
Alessandro Bacci (Pisa): The 20-year-old goalkeeper has been benched by manager Gennaro Gatusso for the past 5 matches, of which the Torri have won 4; looks like this is the new normal, which is a shame for a player who'd done pretty well so far this year. So goes life under Gatusso.
Lorenzo Bardini (Prato): The 19-year-old goalkeeper has spent the entire season on the bench, and there's no reason to assume anything will change soon.
Marco Berardi (Pordenone): The 19-year-old central midfielder was subbed out at halftime of Saturdays 1-3 defeat against Cittadella. Whether it was a tactical switch or a performance-based one is up for debate; hopefully it was the former, as the youngster had started gain momentum for the Ramarri, starting their past 6 matches. On the year, he's got 8 starts, 2 substitute appearances, and an assist.
Nicolò Gigli (Lecce): The 19-year-old center back rode the bench for Saturday's 2-0 against Messina. On the year, he's started 5 matches and been subbed into 1,collecting a pair of yellow cards. As the top back line reserve for the Giallorossi, he'll probably make more sporadic starts as the players ahead of him get hurt or suspended; overall, he's progressing nicely.
Axel Gulin (Pordenone): The 20-year-old winger was benched for the Cittadella match. He's only played 14 minutes all year, and doesn't seem to figure into manager Bruno Tedino's plans.
Saverio Madrigali (Arezzo): The 20-year-old center back started Sunday's 1-1 draw at Pistoiese, but was given the hook at halftime. With no injury reported and the match scoreless at that point, it's hard to figure out what manager Ezio Capuano had in mind. For the year, Madrigali has started 10 matches for the Amaranto (including the past 9 in a row), picking up a goal and a booking. We'll monitor the situation, but hopefully he'll be back and excelling shortly.
Diego Peralta (Pisa): The 19-year-old Argentinean attacker was benched for Monday's 1-0 win over Pontedera. Last week, he came on as a sub against Lucchese and got the winning assist with a brilliantly curled, inch perfect cross (1:08 in the video). He's been Gatusso's attacking super-sub all year, appearing in 9 games, but only starting 1. He's scored once and got 2 assists. Maybe this one will convince the snarling dog to give him a start.
Jacopo Petriccione (Pistoiese): The 20-year-old defensive midfielder played all 90 minutes (for the first time this season) in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Arezzo. He's clearly won manager Massimiliano Alvini's confidence, as he's started 3 of the past 4 games for the Arancioni. Now with 10 appearances (4 starts), he's finding his feet, and he's not getting carded as often--cautioned in his first 3 games in a row, he only got his 4th on Sunday.
José María Basanta (Monterrey--Mexico): With the Clausura all wrapped up (Monterrey finished 9th), the 31-year-old defender has some time to hang out and relax. In 11 starts, he racked a goal and a yellow card. He also captained the Rayados in their final match, which could be a sign that they expect to redeem his loan or that they expect it to be his last match with the club. We probably won't know until this summer.
Steve Leo Beleck (CFR Cluj--Romania): The 22-year-old Cameroonian striker played 82 minutes in Friday's scoreless draw against Chiajna. After losing his position as the team's striker, he's resurfaced as a winger for the Alb-Vişinii. On the year, he's got 3 goals and 2 assists. For a peripatetic player who's averaged more than a club a year in his professional career, he's probably not shown enough to settle in with his parent club yet.
Mario Gómez (Beşiktaş --Turkey): The 30-year-old German striker opened the scoring in Saturday's 1-2 win at Kayserispor before coming out in the 72nd minute. His total now stands at 11 goals in 18 appearances, including domestic and Champions League games. His future is up in the air after club president Fikret Orman publicly prioritized a new stadium over a permanent stay for the big German; smoke and mirrors, or something real? All we know now is that Marione is bagging goals like they're going out of style.
Ianis Hagi (Viitorul Constanta--Romania): The 17-year-old Romanian attacker was benched for Saturday's 1-2 win at Poli Timosoara. Overall, he's started 15 games and been subbed into 3, scoring a goal and assisting another. He's played on the right, up top, and through the middle so far. Given that he's the club captain (again, 17 years old), he should reclaim his spot in his father's/manager's first XI immediately.
Rafał Wolski: The 23-year-old Polish attacker dropped out of the squad for Saturday's 2-3 win at Mouscron. He'd been on the bench for the preceding 4 games and hasn't gotten on the pitch since October. Overall, he's made 4 starts and 5 substitute appearances, garnering a yellow card for his efforts. The Malinois are sitting just above the drop zone, so manager Aleksandar Jankovic probably doesn't want to reshuffle the deck to accommodate a mercurial attacker. May be another lost season for Wolski.