Talentspotter

9 Serie A stars who Premier League clubs should have eyes on in January

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4. Milan Badelj (Fiorentina)

Intelligent off the ball and composed on it, the 27-year-old is a multifaceted midfield pivot

Croatian football has a habit of producing technically supreme central midfielders and Badelj is no exception. The Fiorentina man hasn’t quite reached the heights of his more famous compatriots Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, but he's still deserving of greater recognition.

Intelligent off the ball and composed on it, the 27-year-old is a multifaceted midfield pivot. He's part tackler, part ball-player; a voracious worker who's also comfortable in tight spaces. There has been constant speculation over his future this season and, with his contract up in 2018, he could be available for a very reasonable fee of around £10 million in January.

Would suit: Manchester United, Leicester

Milan Badelj

Badelj tussles with Tottenham's Eric Dier during a Europa League match last term

5. Andrea Petagna (Atalanta)

With a physique that would make the Incredible Hulk jealous, it would be easy to miscast the striker as a mere targetman

Atalanta have a proud history when it comes to producing and developing young talent, with Petagna a prime example. Milan sold the 21-year-old in January, but after a loan spell with Ascoli he's found form for la Dea this term.

With a physique that would make the Incredible Hulk jealous, it would be easy to miscast the striker as a mere targetman. But far beyond his imposing presence, Petagna also possesses a highly sophisticated touch.

While a record of three goals in 14 league appearances doesn’t exactly set pulses racing, it's his combination of the physical and technical, along with real tactical awareness, that would make him the ideal man for Premier League clubs in need of a quality all-rounder to lead the line.

Would suit: West Ham, Southampton

6. Lorenzo Tonelli (Napoli)

With his aggression, speed and sound passing, Tonelli would make a strong addition for most sides

During his time with Empoli, Tonelli established himself as one of the finest centre-backs you’ve probably never heard of, fitting in nicely within Maurizio Sarri’s possession-based style despite his more combative, rugged approach. It was therefore no surprise when he eventually followed the coach to Napoli over the summer.

Injury woes have since prevented him from making his debut for the Partenopei and, with intense competition for places coming from Kalidou Koulibaly, Raul Albiol and Nikola Maksimovic, his chances of regular football aren’t particularly high. However, with his aggression, speed and sound passing, Tonelli would make a strong addition for most sides – particularly those who like to defend high up the pitch.

Would suit: Liverpool, Southampton

Lorenzo Tonelli

Tonelli, playing for Empoli, gets to the ball ahead of Juventus striker Paulo Dybala