Roberto Baggio. Paulo Maldini. Francesco Totti. Fabio Cannavaro. Alessandro Del Piero. Gianluigi Buffon. Andrea Pirlo. Just a handful of world-class talent to represent the Azzurri over the last few decades. But now there’s a new crop of Italian talent looking to take the footballing world by storm. An equal blend of attacking and defensive prowess. Here we discuss the best young Italian players in FIFA 21.
Best Italian Wonderkids in FIFA 21
10. Davide Frattesi (AC Monza: CM, CAM)
20-year-old Davide Frattesi is yet to feature for parent club Sassuolo but will be hoping to showcase his talents at newly-promoted Serie B side AC Monza, in what is his third loan spell in as many seasons.
With a release clause of just €3.4 million Frattesi could be the bargain your career mode needs with an overall rating of 69 and the potential to reach 81. Comfortable on the ball Frattesi has dribbling and ball control attributes of 72, passing of 74 and a sprint speed of 74 helping him turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye.
9. Marco Carnesecchi (Atalanta: GK)
A steady pair of hands between the sticks Marco Carnesecchi isn’t quite at Gianluigi Buffon’s level just yet, but there’s potential. The Atalanta shot-stopper starts FIFA 21 career mode with an overall rating of 66 and has a potential of 82. Add to that a release clause of just €2.8 million and the 20-year-old is an attractive investment.
At 6’3” he has good reflexes with a rating of 70, but his positioning, handling and diving all need working on. So too does his kicking which has a rating of just 58.
8. Enrico Brignola (SPAL: CAM, RW, CF)
A livewire with bags of pace and exceptional dribbling ability, left-footed Enrico Brignola has similar traits to a certain Lionel Messi. Cutting in from the right-wing or operating as a false number nine between the lines Brignola has shown outstanding potential throughout his brief career to date. The SPAL forward, on loan from Sassuolo, has an overall rating of 68 and a potential of 82, which would see him become an accomplished attacking talent on career mode.
7. Nicolò Armini (Lazio: CB)
Young Italian centre backs have a lot to live up to these days following in the footsteps of Alessandro Nesta, Fabio Cannavaro and Giorgio Chiellini to name but a few. 19-year-old Nicolò Armini, currently rated 65 in FIFA 21, is far from the finished product but is one of Italy’s hottest prospects at the back. He’s 6’ft1” tall and has a potential rating of 83.
Defensively sound Armini has 70 standing tackle and 68 sliding tackle, along with 66 strength and 63 heading accuracy, which should provide the Lazio centre back with a solid platform to build on.
6. Eddie Salcedo (Hellas Verona: CF, ST)
Currently on loan from Inter Milan at Hellas Verona, 18-year-old striker Eddie Salcedo is one of Italy’s brightest attacking talents. With an overall rating of 67 and a potential of 83, Salcedo is comfortable on the ball with dribbling and ball control attributes of 76 and 72 respectively. That’s aided by a balance rating of 80.
At 5’10” the Italy Under 21 international has a relatively low centre of gravity, and although he’s not lightning quick, he does have a sprint speed attribute of 77 and acceleration of 76. For his age, he has excellent movement attributes but needs to improve his end product to become a well-rounded striker in career mode.
5. Moise Kean (PSG: ST)
At just 20 years old Moise Kean has already featured for Juventus, Verona, Everton, PSG and the Italy senior team making over 60 appearances for club and country. Failing to establish himself in both Italy and England the pacy striker is hoping a loan move to the French champions will give him the chance to flourish like many predicted from an early age.
He starts FIFA 21 with an overall rating of 74 and potential 83. Naturally right-footed Kean has a finishing attribute of 76, heading accuracy of 72 and volleys 72 making him a threat in an around the penalty box. Movement wise he has all the attributes to be a top-class striker; pace, with sprint speed 79 and acceleration 77, agility 74 and balance 78.
Given a solid run of games and time to develop, wonderkid Moise Kean should become one of the world’s top strikers. He’s definitely worth the investment on career mode.
4. Lorenzo Pirola (AC Monza: CB)
With a release clause of just €2 million 18-year-old Lorenzo Pirola is definitely worth the small investment. The centre back, currently plying his trade in Serie B at Monza, is rated just 63 but has a potential of 84 making him Italy’s brightest defensive talent in FIFA 21.
Standing 6’1” tall and with a strength attribute of 70 Pirola offers a strong presence in the heart of defence. Technically, though, there’s plenty of room for improvement.
3. Sebastiano Esposito (SPAL: ST)
17-year-old Sebastian Esposito has made just a handful of appearances for parent club Inter and loan club SPAL since turning professional, but the wonderkid has shown incredible form at youth level scoring 16 goals in his last 14 appearances.
A dead-ball specialist with 75 curve and free-kick accuracy of 75, it’s early days in Esposito’s development, but the signs are there for everyone to see. This boy has a potential of 86 and an overall rating of 66 – making his release clause of just €3.6 million look ridiculously cheap.
2. Nicolò Zaniolo (Roma: CAM, RM)
Already a Roma first-team regular at the age of just 20, Nicolò Zaniolo has all the makings to be a world-class attacking midfielder. Showcasing excellent ball carrying and passing traits with dribbling, ball control and short passing attributes of 78, Zaniolo has been likened to a certain Francesco Totti.
And like the King Of Rome himself, Zaniolo is composed in front of goal with 74 finishing, tenacious with 80 aggression and nimble on his feet with 71 agility and 78 balance. Capped seven times by Italy, Zaniolo is the complete package, and it’s no surprise to see a release clause of €28.8 million slapped on his head.
1. Sandro Tonali (AC Milan: CDM, CM)
Italy’s new Andrea Pirlo, and hottest prospect in FIFA 21, Sandro Tonali is a defensive midfielder on loan at AC Milan from Brescia.
Already rated 77 with a 91 potential Tonali is not only one for the future, but the short term too, which makes his €43 million release clause even more tempting. With 82 short passing and 81 long passing, you’ll find few, if any, players at 20 years old with better passing attributes. Slotting in at CDM he’s able to dictate play the same way Pirlo did in his prime. But there’s more to Tonali’s game. He can dribble, finish, tackle and has a great turn of pace with 83 acceleration.
From defence to attack Italy have an abundance of talent on their hands, many of which will go on to forge solid careers across Europe’s top leagues. But in Sandro Tonali they have unearthed a real gem. A potential world-class star, who’s destined for the big time. After several years of transition, Italy look to be on the rise again.