Who will be 2012-13's Lamela, Muriel & El Shaarawy? The possible breakout stars of the new Serie A season

ANALYSIS
By Kris Voakes | Italian Football Writer

After the positives of Euro 2012 and the negatives of the Calcioscommesse investigations, football is finally back on Saturday as Serie A returns to the peninsula's football fields.

And as calcio looks for a fresh start after a rollercoaster summer, there are a whole host of new names who will be looking to make their mark on a league that has lost a number of world class players and legends, such as Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Lavezzi, Del Piero and Nesta.

Here, Goal.com looks at the possible standout stars in Serie A for 2012-13, the players set to take their game to another level and wow the watching world over the next nine months. Take a look - and have your say in the comments section below.

ISAAC COFIE | Chievo, Midfielder, 21


Read more on Cofie

2011-12 SEASON STATS
Appearances 36
Goals 1
Assists 3
PLAYER PROFILE
Transfer value 2.5m
Best attribute Short passing game
He's a bit like Olivier Dacourt


You'd be forgiven for not realising that Isaac Cofie already has Serie A experience, with his entire 26-minute top flight career having been chalked up with a substitute appearance for Genoa at the end of the 2009-10 season. Since then he has found his feet in the Italian game with loan spells at Piacenza and Sassuolo, gradually making a real name for himself in the second tier.

Last term was a particularly memorable spell for the Ghanaian as he played a key role in Sassuolo's impressive challenge for a place in Serie A, with his form earning him a move to Chievo as Genoa paid up their half of Francesco Acerbi's contract ahead of the defender's move to AC Milan.

The midfielder's lanky frame may speak of a sometimes awkward demeanour, but he has decent vision, two good feet, a cool head and a hunger to be involved both defensively and offensively. He could well become the latest African midfielder to stamp his authority on Serie A in the next nine months.

CIRO IMMOBILE | Genoa, Forward, 22


Read more on Immobile

2011-12 SEASON STATS
Appearances 37
Goals 28
Assists 7
PLAYER PROFILE
Transfer value €6.5m
Best attribute Finishing
He's a bit like David Trezeguet


It's almost three and a half years now since Ciro Immobile fulfilled many a young boy's dream by coming on for Alessandro Del Piero to make his Serie A debut, and after a magnificent year with Pescara in the second tier he is set to add to his three top flight appearances this term.

He originally came to the nation's attention as the spearhead of Juventus' Torneo Di Viareggio-winning side in 2010 but struggled to make an impact during loan spells with Siena and Grosseto. But it was when he linked up with Zdenek Zeman on the Adriatic coast that he finally found his first-team feet, netting an astonishing 28 goals in his first full season as a starter.

His superb instincts in front of goal back up his excellent movements in and around the area when attempting to create space, and he has an explosive shot in him too.

LORENZO INSIGNE | Napoli, Forward, 21


Read more on Insigne

2011-12 SEASON STATS
Appearances 37
Goals 18
Assists 14
PLAYER PROFILE
Transfer value €7.5m
Best attribute Quick feet
He's a bit like Sebastian Giovinco


With an approach which belies his diminutive stature, Insigne has quickly become one of the great young hopes in Italian football, with team-mate Goran Pandev recently comparing him to Lionel Messi.

Though he may have a long way to go to be a realistic match to the Argentine, his performances over the past couple of years under Zdenek Zeman at both Foggia and Pescara have wowed many, earning him a regular spot in the Italy under-21 squad.

Now back at his parent club, Insigne will be looking to cash in on the departure of Ezequiel Lavezzi to Paris Saint-Germain by eventually earning a regular first-team shirt.

IBRAHIMA MBAYE | Inter, Defender, 17


Read more on Mbaye

2011-12 SEASON STATS
Appearances 0
Goals 0
Assists 0
PLAYER PROFILE
Transfer value 500,000
Best attribute Stamina
He's a bit like Ashley Cole


Inter's NextGen Series success in March was made all the more remarkable by the fact that they had seen out the last hour of the game with 10 men after left-back Mbaye had been sent off, but the youngster has continued to prove himself as a real star for the future since then.

Having recently made his first team debut in the Europa League qualifying defeat to Hajduk Split, the Senegalese is set to become an occasional contributor to Andrea Stramaccioni's squad over the coming months with the No.3 position having become something of a headache in recent times for Inter coaches.

His ability to attack and defend in equal measure without ever seeming out of breath makes him a valuable addition to any squad, and he has a natural disposition for tackling hard and fair thanks to his days as a centre-back before Stramaccioni converted him to the flank during his spell as Inter's Primavera coach.

SIMONE VERDI | Torino, Forward, 20


Read more on Verdi

2011-12 SEASON STATS
Appearances 12
Goals 0
Assists 1
PLAYER PROFILE
Transfer value 500,000
Best attribute Movement
He's a bit like Antonio Cassano


Having become a key component of Milan's Primavera squad, Verdi was finally given his league bow by Torino last term, and with the Granata's promotion this summer he is now likely to develop as a valued member of their Serie A squad.

The young wide man started many a move for the Rossoneri's under-age outfit with his ability to cut in from the left and cause havoc for opposition defences, and he will no doubt look to develop that when called upon by Giampiero Ventura this term.

The 20-year-old is still co-owned by Milan, and is no doubt aware that a breakthrough year with Torino will help to raise hopes of a decent run of top flight action at San Siro.

WILLIANS | Udinese, Midfielder, 26


Read more on Willians

2011 SEASON STATS
Appearances 31
Goals 1
Assists 4
PLAYER PROFILE
Transfer value 3.5m
Best attribute Tackling
He's a bit like Mark van Bommel


It has taken Willians only a single competitive fixture to prove just how important he could be for Udinese over the coming season, with his hard-working performance in Wednesday's Champions League clash with Braga helping the Friulani to pick up a valuable away draw.

The midfielder's dogged determination in the centre of the park will be a key asset to Francesco Guidolin in light of some big-name departures over the last 15 months, and his ability to join in attacks too could also become a real bonus.

A veteran of four years in Brazil's Serie A with Flamengo, the former Santo Andre star is set to become one of Udinese's most important players in the Champions League group stages should they qualify next week
.

*Transfer values according to transfermarkt

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