Serie C and Serie D
Daniele Ansini (Viterbese Castrense): The 20-year-old midfielder played all 90 minutes of the 0-1 win at Trastevere. That makes 2 straight games he's drawn the start in. With 8 appearances (all starts) and a goal to his name this season, he's been a bit underwhelming, honestly. It'd be nice to see him shine in Serie D; maybe he'll rise to the occasion if he gets a step up next season.
Alessandro Bacci (Siena): The 20-year-old goalkeeper remains pinned to the bench. It's a shame it didn't work out for him at Pisa, where he started the first 9 games of the season before losing his spot, but it's definitely been a year full of growth for him.
Lorenzo Bardini (Prato): The 19-year-old Florence-born goalkeeper has dropped back to the bench after 4 straight matches in relief of Atalanta loanee Francesco Rossi. Once again, it's invaluable experience for a young keeper, and should have him ready to compete for a full-time spot next season.
Marco Berardi (Pordenone): The 19-year-old midfielder (turning 20 tomorrow, so happy birthday, Marco!) has been stuck to the bench for the past 2 weeks. He's been a rotational member of manager Bruno Tedino's squad all year, piling up 16 appearances (9 starts) and an assist. It's not the most exciting season for him, but he's shown he can mix it up a little and should either move up a level or nail down a starter's spot next season.
Axel Gulin (Catania): The 19-year-old winger hasn't made it off the bench since his inaugural match with gli Elefanti. It looks like his move from Pordenone hasn't done much to get him more minutes, which is too bad, as he has the look of a decent player.
Saverio Madrigali (Arezzo): The 21-year-old centerback went the distance in Saturday's scoreless draw with Teramo. He's now one of the first names on the team sheet for the Amaranti, and even scored his 4th goal of the season three weeks ago (1:35 in the video). He's on track and looking sharp, and should be ready for a more difficult league next season.
Jacopo Pagnini (Poggibonsi): The 19-year-old keeper has played every minute of every match for the Leoni, and has led them to 4th place with the strongest defense in the league; they've conceded 7 fewer goals than the second-best defense. It's been a tremendous season for the youngster, and he may be ready to make a jump next season.
Jacopo Petriccione (Pistoiese): The 21-year-old midfield schemer played all 90 minutes in Wednesday's 1-3 loss at Pontedera. Excepting the match before--he fell victim to illness--he's started 14 straight matches, missing one due to yellow card accumulation. That's really been his weakness in what's been a fairly good season, actually: he's pretty much on first name terms with most of the referees, as he's collected 7 bookings, including one in each of his first 3 matches. Maybe another year to tidy up his defense would help, but he's looked like a poor man's David Pizarro in the making.
Marko Bakić (Belenenses--Portugal): The 22-year-old Montenegrin midfielder played all 90 minutes in Sunday's 2-2 draw at Tondela. Last week, he managed a nice header to assist the opener in a surprising 3-0 win over Braga. For those of you keeping track at home, that gives him 2 goals and 2 assists already in 9 matches. While life on the pitch in Portugal is maybe a bit easier than it is in Italy, he's still showing previously unexpected signs of life, and could well develop into a useful squad player in the next year or two.
Steve Leo Beleck (CFR Cluj--Romania): The 23-year-old Cameroonian striker hasn't gotten off the bench in the three matches since the Romanian Liga 1 resumed. After managing just 2 goals and 2 assists in 19 appearances (and 14 starts), it seems like time may be running out for the rangy former youth international and, assuming he doesn't make the senior squad next season (he won't) he'll probably ship out for his 12th (!) career club.
Mario Gómez (Beşiktaş--Turkey): The 30-year-old German striker finally didn't score. It happened in Saturday's 1-0 win over Antalyaspor. Don't worry, though, because he scored his league-leading 19th in last week's 0-2 win at Trabzonspor. He's probably finished in Florence and tapped for moves to Manchester City or Real Madrid, although he may stay put in Istanbul, too.
Ianis Hagi (Viitorul Constanta--Romania): The 17-year-old Romanian attacker played the first half in Saturday's 1-3 loss to Steaua București. His father's been using him as a striker recently, which is an interesting development (keep in mind that the kid's not exactly a physical specimen yet). Also of note: he hasn't had the captain's armband for the past two weeks. Still, playing top-flight football at the age of 17 is fairly impressive, and young Hagi hasn't looked completely out of his depth.
Giuseppe Rossi (Levante): The 29-year-old striker scored a brilliant (but ultimately meaningless) equalizer in Saturday's 2-1 loss at Deportivo de La Coruña (first video). He also scored last week with a tidy set-piece volley (second video), which brings his tally to 4 goals and 2 assists in 8 starts and 1 substitute appearance. It sure looks like he's got his mojo back, although according to his agent, he may be too comfortable in Spain. Regardless, it's great to have a healthy Pepito back on the field. Any field.
Rafał Wolski (Wisła Kraków--Poland): The 23-year-old Polish midfielder got a neat assist (0:24 in the first video)and a smart headed goal (1:17 in the first video) in Friday's 5-1 pasting of Bialystok. He also got a neat assist (0:00 in the second video) and a headed goal (0:54 in the second video) last week in the 2-4 win at Termalica while starting in the defensive midfield spot; he's now got 2 goals and 3 assists in his 5 games in the Ekstraklasa. It sure looks like some home cooking was all he needed, and he's been quick to assure the public that Fiorentina have told him he remains in their plans. Give how imperious he's looked over the past month, it's like seeing that effervescent teenage sensation he once was. Good on him.