Serie A and B
Maxwell Acosty (Latina): The 24-year-old Ghanaian winger played the first 57 minutes in Saturday's scoreless draw at Ascoli. Last week, he went the distance and netted the decisive goal (2:41 in the video, although you can see him really bottle one at 0:46 as well) in the 1-0 win over Pro Vercelli, bringing his season total to 7 goals, 3 assists, and 5 yellow cards across 23 games. He's probably been Latina's best player this season, and may be finally putting it all together. As a pacey, direct winger with an eye for goal, he should have a decent chance to make the senior squad for Fiorentina.
Ricardo Bagadur (Salernitana): The 20-year-old centerback is being eased into Serie B, starting all 4 games he's been with the 20th-placed Granata on the bench. Hopefully he'll adjust quickly, since this is a good opportunity for him to finally get some quality playing time outside of the Primavera.
Filippo Bandinelli (Latina): The 20-year-old Florentine winger hasn't made the match day squad since October. Unless someone ahead of him in the pecking order gets injured, that's not likely to change any time soon. A January move might have helped him, but for now, he'll have to take his lumps.
Joshua Brillante (Como): The 22-year-old Australian played the full 90 minutes for the first time this season in Monday's 2-2 draw at Trapani. Interestingly enough, he spent the match at rightback, which was his primary position in the A-League. With the Lariani in last place, perhaps Brillante is providing the spark they need, although, to be perfectly honest, he looked pretty shaky in this one.
Leonardo Capezzi (Crotone): The 20-year-old midfield boss played all 90 minutes in 2-3 win at Bari, which moves the Pitagorici just a single point back of first place Cagliari in Serie B. Capezzi looks more than capable of fighting for a spot with his parent club next year, and has the makings of, at bare minimum, the sort of player that a manager can plug into the lineup every week and forget about.
Nicolò Fazzi (Virtus Entella): The 20-year-old attacker remains frozen out, although at least he made the bench last week for the first time in more than a month. After opening the season as a fixture on manager Alfredo Aglietti's team sheet, he's really fallen. He's a good player, so hopefully he'll scrap and get his spot back for the Diavoli Neri, although it looks like he'll probably need another season or two to really make an impact with the senior Viola.
Gilberto (Hellas Verona): The 22-year-old Brazilian wingback played the last 29 minutes in Sunday's astonishing 3-3 draw with Inter Milan, keeping his parent club in third place. He's now been subbed on for the last half hour or so in both of his matches with the Gialloblu, and, given their table position, he's a likely candidate to continue his role as an energy sub, although he could well unseat incumbent rightback Eros Pisano before the end of the season.
Cedric Gondo (Ternana): The 19-year-old Ivorian attacker played the last 9 minutes of Saturday's 1-0 loss at Livorno. He's started to gain manager Roberto Breda's trust after a rocky start to the season, scoring his second goal of the year last month and generally settling into the role of supersub for the Rossverdi. Although he's only getting limited minutes, he's making good use of them and is starting to fulfill the potential Pantaleo Corvino saw in him.
Gianluca Mancini (Perugia): The 19-year-old centerback is finally starting to get a chance, as he's played the full 90 minutes in two of the past four matches for the Griffoni after being frozen out for nearly the entire season. With a win and a loss in those two, it could be that he's finally forced his way into manager Pierpaolo Bisoli's plans, which can only be a good thing.
Ante Rebić (Hellas Verona): The 22-year-old attacker has been felled by injury for the past three games, which has to be singularly frustrating for him. He looked to have taken hold of a major role with the Gialloblu upon his arrival, starting his first match with them and playing the first half in the second. Instead, we'll wish him a speedy recovery and a fruitful spell in Verona to sort his head out.
Amidu Salifu (Brescia): The 23-year-old Ghanaian midfielder played the final 8 minutes of 1-2 loss at Pro Vercelli on Saturday. After missing most of the season with a hamstring injury, he's apparently decided to try for a new team in the hopes of better health, and is now easing his way into the action for the 7th-placed Rondinelle. Let's hope it works, because a tough and mobile destroyer would be a useful player to have in the center of the pitch.
Andrés Schetino (Livorno): The 21-year-old Uruguayan defensive midfielder hasn't made the matchday squad for the Labronici yet, which isn't exactly astonishing, considering that he was with a midtable Uruguayan side just a few weeks ago. Once he's gotten a bit more familiar with his new country and new league, he should start getting some minutes.
Lorenzo Venuti (Brescia): The 20-year-old fullback played 89 minutes in Saturday's 2-1 loss at Pro Vercelli. It was his first game back (not counting a 2-minute cameo a couple of weeks ago) since his dismissal for a horror tackle against Perugia. Maybe this is a sign that he's back in manager Roberto Boscaglia's good graces, as, prior to his moment of madness, he'd started every game for the Leonessa.
Luca Zanon (Virtus Entella): The 19-year-old defender has been a fixture on the substitute's bench for the past month. He's showed some versatility in working at leftback, but his future's at centerback, and Aglietti understandably doesn't want to interupt the continuity in his backline to accommodate the youngster. Still, Zanon's looked sporadically promising, and could wind up as a good player.
Lower Italian leagues
Daniele Ansini (Viterbese Castrense): The 19-year-old midfielder has been benched for the past 2 weeks. He's made several spot starts for the Leoni in Serie D-G, and is coming along nicely enough.
Alessandro Bacci (Robur Siena): The 19-year-old goalkeeper has moved to Robur Siena in the Lega Pro B, where he's once again assumed the role of top backup. After losing his starting spot with Gennaro Gatusso's outfit, he might have hoped to go somewhere he could retake the number one shirt, but escaping Gatusso unharmed should be enough for anyone.
Lorenzo Bardini (Prato): The 19-year-old goalkeeper got his first league start of the season in Sunday's 1-2 win at Lupa Roma. The week before, he replaced starter Francesco Rossi in the 9th minute after a Rossi howler put them behind. Whether this new starting berth is temporary for Bardini, or whether he's the new number one for the Biancazzuri. Either way, it's a big step forward for the youngster.
Marco Berardi (Pordenone): The 19-year-old midfielder played a minute the 0-2 win at Renate on Saturday. A fixture in the side for the first half of the season, he picked up a knock that kept him out for several weeks, and has been reduced to cameo appearances since. Once he's got his fitness back, he should challenge for his original spot again.
Nicolò Gigli (Lecce): The 20-year-old centerback has departed Lecce and rejoined the Primavera side for the remainder of the year.
Axel Gulin (Catania): The 20-year-old winger debuted for his new side in Saturday's 2-0 loss at Ischia, playing the final 30 minutes. He'd barely played at Pordenone, so the decision to move him elsewhere makes sense. Catania does have some depth in the wide attacking positions, so locking down a regular role for the Sicilians will be a good goal.
Saverio Madrigali (Arezzo): The 21-year-old centerback (whose birthday was the 28th of last month, so happy birthday, Saverio) played all 90 minutes in the 2-0 loss at Pisa on Sunday. He scored in back-to-back games last month, bringing his season tally to 3, and has also started the past 16 matches for the 8th-placed Amaranto. With his goal-scoring knack and impressive form, he could be a long-term Gonzalo Rodríguez replacement, although he'll probably need a bit more seasoning.
Jacopo Pagnini (Poggibonsi): The 19-year-old goalkeeper is locked in as the number one for 4th-placed Poggibonsi in Serie D-E.
Diego Peralta (Pisa): The 19-year-old Argentinean attacker was on the bench for Sunday's 0-2 loss to Arezzo. He's carved himself out a niche as Gatusso's go-to attacking sub, having made 13 appearances off the bench now and netted a goal and 2 assists. He's progressing nicely, and will continue to feature off the bench for the 2nd-placed Torri.
Jacopo Petriccione (Pistoiese): The 20-year-old regista played the first 51 minutes of Saturday's 3-1 loss at Santarcangelo. He's made his way back into the first team, starting the past 8 games for the 21st-placed Aranciati. He's kicking on nicely, and although he probably needs more time on loan, he could wind up being a gem.
Marko Bakić (Belenenses--Portugal): The 22-year-old Montenegrin midfield played 83 minutes in Thursday's 0-5 pasting at the hands of Benfica. Finally healthy after missing the entire season thus far with a back injury, he introduced himself to his new side in style, scoring a goal and notching an assist in 67 minutes in the 3-3 draw against Vitória Guimarães. Given his eye for the spectacular long-range goal, he should be one to keep an eye on.
José María Basanta: The 31-year-old Argentinean defender is technically under contract with Fiorentina now that the Mexican Clausura is finished, but it seems the club and the player have agreed to give him a sabbatical. We'll update his status as more information becomes available, but he probably won't make any surprise appearances this year.
Steve Leo Beleck (CFR Cluj--Romania): The 23-year-old Cameroonian is on break in the Romanian league, as the the bottom half sides prepare for their relegation playoff. To be completely honest, I don't understand the league setup very well, so anyone who's familiar with the Romanian league is welcome to explain it to me.
Mario Gómez (Beşiktaş--Turkey): The 30-year-old German striker scored another brace in Sunday's 4-0 win over Gaziantepspor, which puts him at 15 goals and 3 assists in 18 league appearances, which you may recognize as what happens when you set FIFA to a too-low difficulty setting. Good on him, although it'd be nice if this version of Marione had shown up, oh, two years ago or so. Also, the Superlig guards league footage as if it were nuclear codes, so we can't even watch the perfectly-coiffed striker on the internet.
Ianis Hagi (Viitorul Constanta--Romania): The 17-year-old Romanian is focusing on his youth international duties right now as Liga 1 takes its break. Seriously, I really don't get the Romanian league. Help?
Giuseppe Rossi (Levante): The 29-year-old talisman went the distance in Sunday's predictable 0-2 loss to Barcelona. Last week, though, in his first start for the last-place Granotes, he opened his account with this (slightly lucky) goal. Let's see a lot more of that, then welcome him home with open arms at the end of the season.
Rafał Wolski (KV Mechelen--Belgium): The 23-year-old Polish attacking midfielder has dropped for the past 3 weeks, although he did play 78 minutes earlier this month as a leftback, of all things. Still, though, he's made just 2 appearances since November, and is on the verge of becoming another overhyped and washed up player. Let's hope he gets it together before that happens.