With match-day nineteen of Serie A action behind us, some players are beginning to emerge as crucial parts to their team while others are declining. Who’s trending up and who’s trending down?
This piece will look at the form of players from week sixteen to week nineteen. Before the break, we covered up until week fourteen here. Without further ado, here’s who’s been on form in recent weeks.
Serie A Stock Watch: Weeks 16-19
Paul Pogba, Juventus, midfielder:
It’s safe to say that Pogba has stepped it up as of late. After a rough start to the season, the former Manchester United man is starting to hit his best form. In the last three games, Pogba has scored two goals, including one game-winner, and registered an assist. In addition, the Juventus man is beginning to take control of games unlike he has ever done in the past. More importantly, the Italian champions have won nine league games in a row and now find themselves in second place two points behind Napoli. With the bianconeri about to enter a crucial stage in their season, the 22-year-old will be needed more than ever by Juventus.
Leonardo Pavoletti, Genoa, striker:
The Genoa man has really come into his own since signing with the club from Sassuolo and has emerged as a potential dark horse for a spot on Antonio Conte’s Azzurri team going into Euro 2016. In his last two games, the player has notched three goals and helped I grifoni overcome Atalanta by a score of 2-0. In his twelve appearances this season, Pavoletti has 9 goals and added one assist. With Genoa in an unlikely relegation battle, the importance of the striker cannot be understated. Moreover, an Italy call-up may not be too far away for the 27-year-old should he keep up his form, especially when taking into consideration what others have done in comparison and have been called up.
Andrea Consigli, Sassuolo, goalkeeper:
The Sassuolo keeper has been sensational in recent weeks and is a major reason the neroverdi find themselves in sixth place three points back of Roma with a game in hand. While Consigli had particulalry solid games against Hellas Verona and Frosinone, his performance against Inter was simply on another level. The 28-year-old made a number of first class saves to keep Inter at bay and keep his side in the game with a fighting chance. Moreover, his one-handed save on Adem Ljajic will likely go down as the save of the season. With Eusebio Di Francesco’s side pushing on for a place in Europe, the spotlight will only continue to beam on the keeper.
Edin Dzeko, Roma, striker:
The former Manchester City man hasn’t had the best of runs as of late and has really struggled to impose himself in Rudi Garcia’s system. Before the Christmas break, the Bosnian international picked up a red card for cursing at the ref and received a three-match suspension. In addition to his suspension, Dzeko hasn’t scored a goal in six games in all competitions for the giallorossi. With Roma sliding down the table with each passing week, the striker will need to, at the very least, start finding the back of the net with the same regularity as his time at Manchester City. It’s not like Roma fans are asking for Wolfsburg’s Dzeko.
Diego Perotti, Genoa, winger:
The Argentine is another quality player who has struggled immensely in recent times. Like Dzeko, Perotti has had disciplinary issues picking up two red cards in his last three Serie A games. Last season, the Genoa man was among the better wingers in the league. This season, however, Perotti has failed to replicate his form and has only been able to find the back of the net once. While Genoa aren’t playing their best football at the moment, they will need the 27-year-old to start playing like he knows how. That’s if he stays beyond the January transfer window that is.
Andrea Belotti, Torino, striker:
After signing with Torino from Palermo, a lot was expected from the former Italy U-21 international. The 22-year-old joined I granata as one of Italy’s brightest attacking talents but hasn’t lived up to that potential just yet. In his last three games, Belotti has failed to find the back of the net and Torino have picked up three consecutive defeats condemning them to 14th place. In fact, the player only has one goal in his fifteen appearances this season and has the worst goals to minutes ratio in the league sitting at a goal every 1,025 minutes. No, that’s not a mistake. Recently, there have also been rumours of Ciro Immobile returning to Torino, which may spell further bad news for Belotti.