The best U21 projects in Serie B

Category: New Talents

We take a look at the most exciting U21 talents in Italy's Serie B. A look at the future of Italian football through some of its most promising players.


Serie B in Italy has always been the ideal stage for young Italian talents to showcase themselves and mature in the hope of making the big jump to Serie A sooner or later.

While it is too early to say which players are ready for Italy’s top league, with the 2021-2022 season having just started – barely six games played – we at Driblab want to highlight five U21 profiles, one per position – a goalkeeper, a defender, a full-back, a midfielder and a striker – who are performing at a good level and therefore deserve to be followed throughout the season.

In order to offer original, but at the same time quality content, we are not going to propose profiles whose names already resonate in newspapers and online media all over Italy, such as Marco Carnesecchi (Cremonese) – goalkeeper of the U21 national team – Enrico Del Prato (Parma) – defender of Atalanta – Enrico Del Prato (Parma) – Atalanta defender – Lorenzo Lucca (Pisa) – goalkeeper of the U21 national team – Enrico Del Prato (Parma) – defender of Atalanta, Lorenzo Lucca (Pisa) – scorer of 5 goals in 6 games and who has attracted the interest of the big Italian teams – and Nicolò Fagioli (Cremonese) who, as you all know, was praised by Allegri during his first spell at Juventus.

Goalkeeper: Federico Ravaglia (Frosinone)

Our choice for goalkeeper is Federico Ravaglia. On loan from Bologna, the Ciociaria goalkeeper is performing well in his first stint as a Serie B starter. Despite the mistake against Brescia, mainly due to his youth, Ravaglia has conceded 4 goals in the first 6 games of the season. However, according to our prediction models, the Bologna goalkeeper should have conceded almost twice as many goals (7). Furthermore, among U21 goalkeepers in the top 5 leagues, the goalkeeper ranks in the top 25% in some key metrics such as saves (%), shots conceded per goal and saves xG per shot.

Defender: Simone Canestrelli (Crotone)

A product of Empoli’s youth academy – last season with Albinoleffe in Serie C – with four of his last six starts, Canestrelli is distinguishing himself for his defensive solidity. Indeed, a glance at our beeswarm shows how the young defender is able to counter the opposition well – more than two winning tackles per game – is very difficult to beat in one-on-one defence and extremely effective in the air. Finally, it is worth mentioning his contribution in playmaking. His performances make him the best-performing Italian U21 defender in his first appearances of the season.

Full-back: Tommaso Cassandro (Cittadella)

In the full-back position, we have decided to highlight Cittadella’s attacking full-back Tommaso Cassandro. The young Bologna full-back is having his first experience in Serie A and is showing his offensive skills: his ball progression and his percentage of successful crosses. As a result, he is capable of creating a good number of chances per game.

Midfield: Salvatore Esposito (Spal) – Filippo Ranocchia (LR Vicenza)

In midfield, there are two talents that we want to highlight and who are showing their excellent performance: Salvatore Esposito and Filippo Ranocchia. The former, a Spal midfielder, is a very interesting player because of his ability to combine defensive and dribbling qualities. The latter, who comes from Juventus, is a more attacking player, with excellent vision and the ability to play between the lines, where he can often find the right play and link up with his team-mates towards goal.

Forward: Samuele Mulattieri (Crotone)

Our team’s chosen striker is Inter’s Samuele Mulattieri, currently at Crotone. He had an incredible season in the Dutch second division last year – 18 goals – being the Italian striker who has scored the most goals in 2021 and even in these first few rounds he seems not to have lost the habit (5 goals in 6 games).

The Pythagorean striker is a player who moves well in space, who is capable of a large number of touches in the opposition box and who is also good in the air. The main characteristic of this type of striker is that he is usually in the right position to receive shots with a high xG, which allows him to be effective in front of goal.

Autor: Daniele De Serio
For New Talents we also recommend you:

‘Jupiler Pro League’: Under-20 talents not to be missed

Scouting and finding talent in Belgium are virtually synonymous verbs. We take a look at five U20 players with more than 1000 minutes who are already close to taking the next step in their careers.

Young centre-backs in Portugal (outside the big three)

We wanted to use all our filters to find centre-backs who, outside the three big historical Portuguese clubs (Porto, Benfica and Sporting), could be interesting to make the next step.

Potential investments: U20 players who will increase (a lot) in market value

We target players from various leagues who will soon be worth much more money, proving to be very interesting investments coming from clubs or leagues used to selling.

South American U-20 talents: looking ahead to the next transfer window

We discover and analyse with data promises that are going to stop being promises. Talents who could leave in the next transfer window.

Argentina, land of midfielders

Land of midfielders, we find Argentinian players who are either already close to leaving for another league or will do so sooner rather than later.

Five U-20 players already shining in Scandinavian football

We discover and analyse five U20 talents who are already shining in Swedish or Norwegian football.

Kvaratskhelia’s legacy: discovering Georgia’s talents

Georgian football justifies more detailed scouting, managing to export valuable talent to all types of championships.

A young goalkeeper without flaws?

Although there are more and more statistical options to measure the performance of a goalkeeper, it is not easy to be able to measure how much value he adds and adds to each action. In terms of saves that prevent goals we have xGOT (Expected Goals on Target), plus...

The most promising players at the South American U-17 Championship

We highlight and analyse the best talents from the recently concluded South American U-17 Championship.

The best talents of the South American U-20 Championship

Introducing the most promising players at the South American U-20 Championship 2023.


Información corporativa

Somos una empresa con sede en Madrid fundada en 2017 por Salvador Carmona y Cristian Coré Ramiro. Desde nuestros inicios nuestro trabajo se ha centrado en el análisis estadístico de datos para ayudar a los clubes en la planificación deportiva. Somos una consultora big data que ofrece servicios personalizados para cada cliente y defiende un modelo de gestión mixto y una comunicación constante para acompañar el día a día de las instituciones. Nuestro punto fuerte es la más amplia cobertura disponible en número de torneos profesionales y juveniles. Para más detalles, póngase en contacto con nosotros.

Colaboramos con:


Hemos aparecido en: