Central Midfield: Remo Freuler (Atalanta) :Goals 2 Assists: 6
In central midfielder is Atalanta’s Remo Freuler. This may not be a name or player that jumps off the page in terms of statistics. However, Remo Freuler is as valuable to Atalanta as anyone. You can make an argument for a lot of things but the role he has played in their defensive Midfield has been absolutely sensational. Easily one of the most underrated players in Italian football. He has outplayed practically everyone at his position this season. The game is more than just about numbers. He is proof that he is one of the most intelligent players in Italian football. He is the Superstar that makes Atalanta unbeatable at times their attack runs through Remo Freuler. Atalanta’s historic run to the Champions League has been special and even though Duvan Zapata has been sensational Remo Freuler just might be the most valuable player on the team. The entire fluidity runs through him he is the catalyst of offense. They were as dangerous as anyone this season more a threat to score then even Juve. They have come back from the dead in multiple games this season. Even a 3-0 deficit to Roma was overturned this is a team of grit and determination and even though Remo Freuler does not score a lot of goals he has been absolutely crucial to their ability to make the Champions League this season. This may not be a popular choice but I would go as far to say it’s he has been the best midfielder of any kind this season. There are so many components of this Atalanta team that is incredibly dangerous but Remo Freuler is the Catalyst of all of it everything runs through him. He does a great job controlling the attack and getting the ball into tight spaces for his attackers to take advantage it’s not only his ability to get his guys going forward into dangerous areas but has tremendous defensive qualities. He plays his role perfectly as a defensive midfielder he makes things very difficult on the opposing attack because he has the speed of and intelligence of a central midfielder & the Poise of a striker. He has been incredibly influential in this Atalanta team. He may not have been the best player this season but without question has played a huge role in Atalanta getting into the Champions League even though he has not been regularly acknowledged by the media or anybody else they would not be here without him. The attackers do not get the same opportunities without. He has played his role exceptionally well he has scored and facilitated on a fair amount of goals even though statistically his numbers will not blow you away but his impact cannot be questioned. He is a Champions League level player even though he has not been given the credit he deserves he was one of the best 11 players in Italian football this season. His vision and passing ability is second nature to him only two goals but six assists he has the complete package and he’s only going to continue to develop into a superstar in Italian football. His work ethic is absolutely phenomenal he never gives up on any play he truly is and has been the engine of this Atalanta team this season. There is not a midfielder more deserving of his place in the Serie A team of the season he has earned it.
Central Midfielder: Rodrigo De Paul (Udinesse) Goals: 9 Assists: 8
My other Central midfielder goes to Rodrigo de Paul from Udinese. He is another player that somehow has slipped under the radar. I’m not sure there is a player that has been more impactful in which where their teams finished then Rodrigo de Paul. Quite frankly he gets disrespected on an almost regular basis. People don’t really see him as a big-time player which is ironic because that’s exactly what he is. Every week we hear praise for Nicolo Barella and Federico Chiesa they are tremendous footballers but they are not even in his class. An argument can be made for player of the season I am not joking. You can make a legitimate case for him given the impact. The players that are around him he has carried his team away from the relegation Zone into safety securing another season. Rodrigo de Paul is Udinese this team could have been one of the worst teams in the league without him. Had he not been on the team they would have been relegated and finished Below Frosinone. That’s how bad hypothetically they would have been. Given what team he is on the numbers he put up this season are unbelievable. He is one of the best under-25 players in Italian football. There may not be a more valuable player to their team then Rodrigo de Paul. Without him, Udinese would have finished with 18 fewer points if you count his goals and assists in evaluating the impact Udinese would have finished 19th. That in itself shows you how special he actually is. There’s a reason he was selected for Argentina’s Copa America Squad. 9 goals and 8 assists this season is pretty remarkable. He has had to carry his teams throughout the entire season. There’s no question he deserves a bigger club he deserves to be on a top 6 team. If you just look at his numbers on a bad team if you put quality around that a legitimate case can be made that he can develop into the best midfielder in Italy. He’s got the vision the pace the intelligence and the goal-scoring ability you put that all together and if he continues to develop it’s very scary was he can accomplish. This was a no-brainer forget the best 11 he’s been one of the best five players. I do realize that no one else will make this estimation and he will not end up on any of the starting 11 team but he has deserved that right so I’m putting him on mine. He has just been that good I personally hope Roma considered him this Summer. Someone will sign in and whoever that is will have basically won the lottery because he will be bought under his value truly a special player. The talent that he possesses is a Champions ingredient to any team. He is just that good even if the majority are too blind to realize that. If it wasn’t for him Udinese would be in Serie B.
Left Wing: Stephen EL Shaarawy (Roma) Goals: 11 Assists: 3
My left Winger is Stephan El Shaarawy I have been raving about him all season. Roma has been an utter disaster considering their expectations that they have upon them so it may be surprising to see another Roma player make my starting 11. But facts are facts there has not then a more consistent left-winger than Stephan El Shaarawy. He has put in one of truly his best season. An absolute machine that season he was the team’s highest scoring player this season with 11 goals. He is another player that is so under-the-radar it’s kind of a joke. He has been a nightmare to deal with week in and week out while Roma may have had their struggles Stephan El Shaarawy certainly has not. This is as good as he has been in the Roma shirt. He is one of the best players in the league and this season he justified that. I don’t think it’s even a conversation anymore. He is finally fulfilling the expectations that we saw from him early in his Milan days. It’s not just the fact that he scores goals and is a very difficult player to handle his ability use his speed passing and intelligence to dictate some of the best defenders in Serie A. He has done this in the biggest games against the biggest teams. He has just been special. He was consistently Roma’s has the most explosive and dangerous player. Without his impact, there is no way that Roma would have finished in a European spot. If it had not been for some injuries he would have broken the 20-goal mark this season. He has gotten very little credit whatsoever despite the fact he was one of the most productive attacking players in Italy. There are players that have been praised on a regular basis who have not even had half the season of Stephan El Shaarawy. His intelligence & speed creates a problem he is nearly impossible to mark because of his movement without the ball. He’s so efficient and intelligent that he is always one step ahead. He will win Roma’s player of the season but he is also earned a place here on the team of the year. He is only going to get better even changing managers did not slow his season down he was on a level this year. If it wasn’t for injuries it’s scary to comprehend how much more damage he could have done this year. It’s not like they were tap ins either he’s striking from every area of the pitch from every difficult angle against some of the biggest teams no moment was too big for him this year which is a large reason why he has earned his place on the team of the season.
Right Wing: Dries Mertens(Napoli) Goals: 16 Assists: 11
The right wing on my team of the season goes to Napoli’s Dries Mertens. Napoli had a very interesting season under Carlo Ancelotti it didn’t go as planned as no one really challenged Juventus for the title at any point. Napoli seems to walk out of the title race on the same day it opened. Dries Mertens is one of Napoli’s most efficient players and has been for many seasons. Even though his goals have gone down the impact on his team has only grown this season. It was a very difficult start to the season for the Naples Winger. A large part of it depended on a few different things he wasn’t really getting the opportunity to start games at the beginning of the Season. He would come off the bench playing the super sub role. Which I thought was a huge mistake. He was too good and too consistent to be coming off the bench. So for a good part of the Season, it was a struggle. But once Carlo Ancelotti gave him his trust a little more he started to turn it on. Especially late in the year. It seemed like Napoli had a wrapped up second place quite early because of the dysfunction at Inter Milan but nonetheless, he came through in some really big games for them. The Supporting Cast wasn’t as consistent as effective as you might have thought. He got a lot of good connections from Milik but everyone else seemed to drastically underachieve individually. However, as the season continued to grow as Ancelotti started to trust dries Mertens more and more. In a lot of ways at times, he seemed like he was the conductor of the Napoli attack. It was actually a historic season as he surpassed Diego Maradona in Serie A goals. Dries Mertens is one of the best players to ever put on the Napoli shirt. I’m not even close to suggesting that he’s better than Diego Maradona but he’s in that class in terms of productivity for Napoli. 110 goals in 5 seasons is absolutely insane. This season he ended with double digits in goals and assists. Very few players in Serie A were able to accomplish that. Over the last six to eight weeks of the Season, he was the best player in the entire league. It seems like every other week he was putting in a jaw-dropping performance. 16 goals & 11 assist in Serie A action that is absolutely astounding. Even though I’ve already made my decision for player of the season he was strongly considered and giving everything you could even make the argument he had a better season than Cristiano Ronaldo. There are seasons in which he has scored more goals this doesn’t quite Eclipse a year he had a few years ago when he scored 29 goals in the league but this is as effective as he has been since arriving in Napoli. He was responsible for 27 goals I haven’t run the numbers but his impact based on all that information is quite clear. Even though he is 32 years old I haven’t seen a drop off in any way. He still has that wicked pace that gives Defenders so many problems as well as a high level of intelligence. His passing ability seems to be improving it would be disrespectful to not have him in your team of the season he has made great strides after somewhat of a letdown last season. If Napoli can improve some of the other parts of the team they have a legitimate chance at a title challenge as long as it Dries Mertens is wearing that number 16. Truly one of the best players this season.