Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen lead new generation of Serie A stars in Europe

20 Mar 2024 07:08 pm, by YorkshireSquare

The 2023-24 Serie A season has seen the emergence of a new crop of young stars who are not only dominating in Italy, but also making their mark on the European stage - fulfilling preseason Serie A predictions that this could be a changing of the guard in Italian football. Leading the pack are Napoli's dynamic duo of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen.

Serie A's resurgence on the European stage

The growth of players such as Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen, Lautaro, and Leao represents Serie A's comeback as a strong league in European football. For most of the 2010s, the Italian top flight was regarded as a declining power, with the Premier League and La Liga outperforming it in terms of quality and worldwide popularity.

However, during the previous few seasons, Serie A teams have reestablished themselves as the continent's top. In 2022-23, three Italian teams - Napoli, Inter Milan, and AC Milan - advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals, with Napoli reaching the semis before being eliminated by eventual champions Manchester City.

This season might bring even more Serie A triumphs. Napoli won their group ahead of Liverpool, while Inter and Milan advanced to the knockout rounds. With the financial might of Saudi-backed Newcastle United, Serie A clubs have been able to stave off attacks for their best talents from the Premier League's elite thus far.

If Napoli, Inter or Milan were to go all the way and win the Champions League, it would cap an incredible resurgence for Italian club football on the biggest stage. With a new generation of generational talents like Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen leading the way, Serie A's status as a world superpower looks increasingly secure for years to come.

Kvaratskhelia's Breakout Season

Georgian winger Kvaratskhelia, still only 22 years old, has been a revelation in his first full season with Napoli. His electric pace, dribbling skills and eye for goal have terrorized Serie A defenses. Kvaratskhelia currently ranks among the league leaders in successful dribbles (72), chances created (49) and is Napoli's second-leading scorer with 10 goals.

But it's in the Champions League where "Kvaradona" has truly announced himself as a superstar. His stunning solo goals and assists were instrumental in Napoli topping a group containing Liverpool, Ajax and Rangers. Many pundits are already calling him the breakout player of the 2022-23 European season. If he maintains this form, a big money move could be on the horizon for the €80 million-rated talent.

Osimhen Can't Stop Scoring

While Kvaratskhelia provides the flair, Osimhen is among the ones to watch who brings real firepower. The Nigerian striker was Serie A's capocannoniere last season with 26 goals as Napoli romped to the Scudetto. He's carried that momentum into this campaign, notching 11 goals in just 17 appearances to sit second in the Capocannoniere race behind Lautaro Martinez.

Osimhen's blend of pace, power and ruthless finishing make him a nightmare for defenders. At just 24, he's already one of the most feared strikers in Europe. Napoli recently tied him down to a new deal until 2026 with a €130 million release clause, a sign of his skyrocketing value. The €110 million-rated Osimhen has been linked with moves to Manchester United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

Lautaro Leads Inter Charge

Over at Inter, Lautaro Martinez continues to show why he's one of the best young strikers in world football. The 26-year-old Argentine has scored a league-leading 23 goals, powering Inter's title challenge. His partnership with Romelu Lukaku has been key to Inter's success.

Lautaro's consistent scoring over the past few seasons has seen his value soar to €110 million, equaling Osimhen as Serie A's most valuable player. Barcelona have long been admirers, and a move to the Catalan giants to replace the aging Robert Lewandowski could materialize in the near future. For now, Lautaro will aim to fire Inter to Serie A and Champions League glory.

Other Names to Watch

While Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen and Martinez have grabbed most of the headlines, there are several other Serie A stars who are excelling both domestically and in Europe:

- Rafael Leao (Milan): The reigning Serie A MVP has notched 10 goals and 8 assists in a scintillating campaign. His €90 million valuation reflects his status as one of Europe's most exciting young attackers.

- Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus): The Serbian striker has scored 15 goals despite Juve's domestic struggles. Still only 23, he has a bright future for club and country.

- Nicolo Barella (Inter): A complete midfielder, the 26-year-old is the engine that makes Inter tick. His dynamic performances have seen his value rise to €75 million.

Serie A has long been a proving ground for some of the world's best players. This current crop of stars, led by Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen and Martinez, look set to carry the mantle for the league in Europe for years to come. Their scintillating skill and scoring exploits are a big reason why Serie A is must-watch football right now.