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Loanee reports: Serie B

The second tier is about as rugged a proving ground as you’ll find, and the Viola players working there are grinding away.

Ascoli v Cosenza - Serie B
Handsome devil, though.
Photo by Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

Christian Dalle Mura (Cremonese)

The 19-year-old centerback is having a tough time breaking into manager Fabio Pecchia’s setup, not yet even making the matchday squad. With the Rossogrigi sitting in second place and boasting the best defensive record in the division (5 goals in 7 games), it could take a precipitous dip in form or an injury for our boy to break into the XI, especially because central defense is the best-stocked area of the team. Dalle Mura may have to get his minutes with the U20s; he made his second appearance with the Azzurrini on Tuesday, playing the first half in the 1-1 against Portugal.

Gabriele Ferrarini (Perugia)

The 21-year-old fullback has made 6 appearances (2 starts) so far and even went the full 90 in the scoreless draw against Benevento last time out. He’s mostly played as a right wingback, although he’s filled in on the right of a back 3 at times as well. He’s also made his debut with the U21s, playing a total of 4 minutes in the Euro qualifiers in the past couple of months. With a contract expiring in 2023, he’s likely starting to think about his next move, and a strong season could be enough to temp Fiorentina to extend him for another couple of years. So far, he’s doing everything right: while his defensive positioning is still a bit iffy at times, he’s been really creative with the ball, carving out good chances with his crossing and passing.

Gabriele Gori (Cosenza)

The 22-year-old striker is starting to heat up, scoring 3 goals while playing every minute for the Lupi so far, including this belter against Como last month.

Operating as a battering ram of a prima punta in Mario Zaffaroni’s front two, he seems to be finding his feet after 3 years of underwhelming loans. It’s a good reminder that some players are just late bloomers, especially big forwards who excel at Primavera level simply by being bigger and stronger than every other teenager before having to effectively re-learn their jobs when thrown into the mixer with a bunch of adults who don’t cede such a physical advantage. On an unrelated note, Gori’s got the best profile photo on transfermarkt.