Serie A 2021/2022 Team of the Season Part Three #1482 (late)

TOTS

Left-wing; Berardi, Sassuolo

Berardi had arguably the best season of his entire career. For some reason, he has flown so far under the radar that he’s being basically ignored for the team of the season. He had a very strong case for player this season; he had the most goal involvement in league with 32. 15 goals and 17 assists, the most compatible and versatile attacking player in the league this season. He is right there with Ciro immobile regarding the best individual performance of the season. There’s no doubt that there are some quality players around him, but it’s not like he’s playing with superstars. Last season sassuolo lost their best midfielder and arguably their best player, with Manuel Locatelli going into Juventus. In addition to that, their manager left for the Ukraine joining Shakhtar Donetsk. The one primarily responsible for the success of the last couple of seasons. They’re certainly quality with Gianluca raspadori and Scamacca, especially in the attack. Giving Berardi surplus of options as far as how he can influence the game. Considering all that was lost, for them to still finish in the top 11 is tremendous, not to mention their form against the top six teams in the league. They are never an easy out, but this season it almost felt like they took it to another level. The headlines obviously are going to the guys up front with the attacking quality they have shown. However, the truth of the matter is they are probably not getting their opportunities without Berardi; he has put them in a position to score goals regularly. All of that without talking about the 15 goals he scored in the league last season. That doesn’t necessarily mean everything, but some are undeniable; again, 15 goals and 17 assists for a team but finished outside of the top six; imagine what he could do to any team with a more polished Midfield. He has a very strong case; what player of the season just takes the essence of the impact and influence he had on the success of this team; it’s truly remarkable. He is the opposite of Andrea Belotti, who had a promising start before flaming out. Berardi has shown inconsistencies in the past, but he has worked hard to polish his game and, in doing so, become one of the best players in the league. Variety truly doesn’t get enough credit for arguably the most valuable and important player to any team. He had stayed there and kept up the consistency of a team regularly finishing in a respectable position no matter what they lose, no matter what they gain. Berardi is consistently keeping them Within Reach of the club’s expectations. Personally, I think he will be a smashing hit in the Premier League, and it’s probably time for him to spread his wings because his two running mates are unlikely to remain on the team next season. Still, his season as a whole collectively was nothing short of individual brilliance.

Striker; Ciro immobile; Lazio

Ciro immobile, in my estimation, was the best player in the league this season. It was nothing short of an individual masterclass. He has stepped up to the plate all season Lazio team would not be the same without him. I am not underselling milinkovic-savic as he is one of the best in the world; however, the value of Ciro immobile is obvious; you look at the team and the totality of it from top to bottom, they’re probably not a Europa League team without him if you took any other Striker and threw him on that team they’re not having even a quarter of success. He is their all-time top scorer and is the most dangerous attacker in the league. Winning the Golden Boot again for a team that he carries each season. 27 goals this last campaign, the most goals from open play. He’s only taken a couple of penalties this season; you take that into account, you can’t diminish this evening he just had. It’s not the stats alone; you see the impact of his performances and the ripple effect that you get as far as the team’s performances. He has only had one bad performance this season against Roma in the second Derby but has stepped up in multiple big games this season, has like nine game-winning goals and had two assists in the first Rome Derby. Lazio finished ahead of Roma again despite it not exactly reflecting the season they had; the entire reason that they finished ahead the Roma was because of the man on top. One of the best strikers in the world individual quality. I don’t care that he doesn’t perform for Italy; the communication and the link-up play between himself and milinkovic-savic are breathtaking; on top of that, he makes everyone around him better and, as we mentality, to fight through adversity. In a game earlier this season, he missed a penalty, and on the next corner, he stuck it in the back of the net, a sequence of mental strength. He is the best striker in the league, and I take no pleasure in saying that, but there’s nothing you really can say against that claim he has shown it each season against the big teams in the big moments. This season was especially spectacular; he ranked number one in every category imaginable. Goals, chances created, big chances created, game-winning goals, x g, so on and so forth there have been other top Strikers this season, but no one even comes close to the work that Ciro immobile has done for a Lazio team that in my opinion, this isn’t that good.

Right-wing; Raphael Leao, AC Milan

Raphael Leao is the most explosive attacking player in Italy. However, this has been the case since he has arrived; the difference is he has taken this to another level. When he arrived from France for around 40 million, it came with many expectations to deliver immediately. He had his moments but wasn’t able to justify the price tag. This last season he has done that and then some. His asking price would be 140 million, an attempt to scare off Real Madrid. He was very inconsistent last season; he has grown into one of the best young players in the league, someone that had so much importance in many aspects of his AC Milan teams that left with the league title in their possession. Double-digit goals and assists for the Portuguese 22-year-old 11 goals and 10 assists. Delivering on the big stage against the big teams in critical moments for this league title. His goal against Fiorentina was one of the defining moments of their season. If he cannot capitalise at that moment, maybe Inter Milan wins the title instead. What I’ve seen in the last 18 months is he’s a young player who comes into a new League struggling to find his way even a little fear shown, he goes from that to the most highly-skilled attackers in the league. He can score from mutually anywhere, but his most impressive asset is his ability to move quickly and position himself in the attacking area while also having his eyes and surveying the whole field; there have been so many moments this season where he takes off down the flank and then supplies a very accurate Placement at the last second. He is versatile with his movement; he’s only going to get better. He is box-office and attraction and worth the price of admission, one of the most fun players to watch in Italy while being one of the most desirable Assets in World football; the scary thing is he’s still very young, and he’s only going leaps and bonds becuase of the influence of the experience such as Olivier Giroud, and Ibrahimovic has undoubtedly helped him get to the next level the sky is the limit for Raphael Leao.

Bench: Tammy Abraham, Milan Škriniar, Lautaro Martínez, Mario Pašalić, Nicolò Barella, Sandro Tonali, Mike Maignan

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