Recap: Cristiano Biraghi joined the club back in the summer window on loan from Serie B club Pescara and has been an ever-present in the side. He’s a player which has the ability to go up and down the left-hand side throughout the 90 minutes. He often occupies the majority of the left side for The Viola, offering the most width down the wing. While he’s not the best defensively his attitude and work ethic is commendable. Given that he’s pretty much a wingback he’s proved himself to be a key part of the Pioli machine.
Biraghi has only missed four games this season and with one of them a suspension he’s never looked like being replaced. He’s had some fine performances this year against the likes of Hellas Verona, Chievo Verona and Torino early on in the campaign. He’s shown his brilliant ability to deliver the ball from a wide position. I mean it’s not always been rosy for Biraghi, defensively he’s been caught out on occasions and out of position. Also, we cant forget some of his awful set pieces. However, overall it’s been a very good first season for The Viola left-back.
Stats: During the 34 appearances Biraghi has managed to score one goal and add a further five assists. Not bad numbers at all for the full-back, who came into the season with not much expectation. He’s surpassed those expectations and then some, he doesn’t get the headlines for his contributions but the team would be a lot worse without him.
Whats next: It took a while but, the club has found a replacement for Marcos Alonso. The club has an obligation to buy Biraghi for around €2 million which looks like an absolute steal in today's market. Being 25 years old he’s getting towards his peak and if he can improve a bit defensively, he’s going to have a bright future at the club.
Grade: B Could have been even higher if he were a bit better defensively. Not the finished article but a very promising season.
Recap: After playing 18 times in his first season with the club it became apparent that the club needed to replace Olivera. He wasn’t all that bad in the 16/17 campaign but not really up to the standards of a top-eight side. He started the first game of the season against Inter but it’s been downhill since then. Biraghi has gone on to make the position his own and has shown to be the superior player.
Stats: The Uruguayan featured only seven times and only two of these did he play 90 minutes. He failed to register a goal or an assist in these games. His finest game was against Crotone where The Viola came out 2-0 winners. He showed his ability to go forward effectively and overall had a solid outing.
What’s next: It’s probably best for his career and the club that he was moved on. Whether it be on loan or permanently. He’s simply not going to get game time next season, and for Biraghi’s sake, a bit of healthy competition might make him improve.
Grade: D- Hard to rate him when he hasn’t really featured but there’s a reason why he hasn’t.