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Loanee reports: Lega Pro and Serie D

Here’s where we keep track of the Viola youth prospects who are playing elsewhere for the season.

He’s been doing a lot of this recently.
@LucaZanon3 on Instagram

Lega Pro

Luzayadio Bangu (Reggina): The 18-year-old Congolese midfielder has already accumulated 7 starts and 2 substitute appearances across 9 matches (7 in the Lega Pro and 2 in the Coppa Italia), chipping in a pair of goals and earning a booking. He scored an instinctive and inventinve goal and earned the penalty for another in the Coppa match against Vibonese (1:08 and 2:18, respectively, in the video).

He also notched this composed equalizer against Catania (2:54 in the video).

His sheer athleticism and powerful build give him a physical advantage over nearly anyone he goes against, and he’s got tremendous skill and composure as well. A successful campaign with the Amaranti here should lead to a loan spell in Serie B next season, and maybe even to the senior side after that. The sky’s the limit for him.

Marco Berardi (Tuttocuoio): The 20-year-old midfielder has started 6 of 7 matches for the Neroverdi, helping the newly-promoted side into 9th place. He also scored an opportunistic late equalizer to salvage a point at Prato in the opener (2:40 in the video).

He’s quietly become one of the better players in the Viola youth system: a hardworking and technically sound central midfielder who can also play in the holding role and has an impressive eye for goal. He should be one of the key players for Tuttocuoio this year, and may get a chance in Serie B next season.

Nicolo Gigli (Matera): The 20-year-old centerback has yet to make his first appearance for Gaetano Auteri’s men. He’ll have to impress in training to get a chance. It’s awfully reminiscent of his failed stint at Lecce last season, which ended with him returning to the Primavera after being unable to break through. Hopefully, this season will prove more fruitful for him; he’s certainly got the quality to contribute, but needs a chance.

Saverio Madrigali (Cosenza): The 21-year-old centerback hasn’t had an easy time in Calabria yet, making just 1 start, along with a 1 minute cameo. He has yet to earn manager Giorgio Roselli’s trust, but is currently the third centerback behind veterans Luca Tedeschi and Edoardo Blondett. With 13 points from 7 matches, it’s unlikely that Roselli will change anything yet, so Madrigali will have to bide his time and seize the rare opportunity that comes his way.

Artem Makarov (Taranto): The 19-year-old Russian goalkeeper has only made one appearance for the Rossoblu: in the 2-1 Coppa Italia loss at Fondi, in which he saved a penalty and made some nice stops; neither goal was his fault. In league play, he’s pretty clearly 4th in the pecking order, which begs the question of why he was sent to a team with an established number one and two other promising youngsters. This will be more of a chance for him to gain some valuable experience as a professional, rather than actually play much.

Simone Minelli (AlbinoLeffe): The 19-year-old winger has earned a role as an impact sub, coming off the bench in 4 matches and even starting in 1. He’s already been booked twice, which could indicate a bit of frustration in his role, but that’s probably reading too much into it. As a U20 international, he’s got oodles of potential. He’s just got to show that to manager Massimiliano Alvini. Don’t be surprised if he nails down a full-time job before midseason.

Giuseppe Pandolfi (Pistoiese): The 19-year-old midfielder has yet to make an appearance for the Olandesina. This is his first time stepping outside of the Primavera, so some growing pains are to be expected. He did just make the match day squad for the first time thus far, though, so that’s some kind of progress.

Amidu Salifu (Mantova): The 24-year-old Ghanaian defensive midfielder has fashioned himself a role off the bench for the Virgiliani, making 5 substitute appearances and earning a starting berth in the match against Padova this week. Unfortunately, he went off injured in the 27th minute, although we still don’t know how he hurt himself. For a player who’s missed so much time due to his inability to stay healthy, it’s a genuine concern. He’s a really talented midfielder, and you know Corvino wants him to succeed, but Fiorentina will probably let him leave at the end of the year if he can’t stay on the pitch.

Luca Zanon (Pistoiese): The 20-year-old leftback has hit the ground running for the Arancioni, starting 6 of their 7 matches and collecting a booking in the process. Only 3 clubs in the league have a better defensive record, although the lack of goals is keeping them in 11th place. After his nightmare season at Virtus Entella last year saw him glued to the bench, lots of playing time is exactly what the U20 international needs.

Serie D

Filippo Boccardi (Imolese): The 19-year-old centerback has started all 5 matches for the Rossoblu, accumulating a pair of yellow cards along the way. As part of a defense that’s allowed just 3 goals, he’s obviously settled right into manager Francesco Baldini’s 4-3-3. Helping Imolese win promotion as part of a stingy defense is a good and realistic goal for him.

Enea Sanna (Imolese): The 19-year-old rightback has played in all 5 of Imolese’s matches, picking up a booking in the process. With 4 starts and 1 substitute appearance, he hardly seems out of his depth, and has even shown the adaptability to play at leftback. Having former Primavera teammate Boccardi next to him probably helps, too.