I know it’s tough. Despite the arrival of Christmas and a much-needed new year for many of us, the absence of Serie A has been insidiously draining.
It’s been a thrilling start to the season over in Italy. We’ve seen the champions re-establish their supremacy, a cluster of contenders emerge, Juventus stutter and the archetypal Jose Mourinho cycle begin prematurely in the capital.
The unpredictability of the division has made it so special this time around and at the halfway mark of the 2021/22 campaign, it’s only right that we celebrate some of Calcio’s best. Alas, we’ve decided to conjure up an early 2021/22 Serie A Team of the Season.
2021/22 Serie A Team of the Season at the halfway mark
Seeing as they’re the league leaders (and dominate this team), we’ve opted to set up our premature 2021/22 Serie A Team of the Season in Inter’s 3-5-2.
So, without further ado, let’s see who made the cut!
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Samir Handanovic (GK) – Mike Maignan was a close second, but the Frenchman’s lengthy injury hampered his chances somewhat. He’s barely put a foot wrong when he’s started between Milan’s sticks since arriving from Lille in the summer. Inter’s Samir Handanovic, meanwhile, has been an ever-present this term and is quietly enjoying a superb campaign for the current league leaders. The Slovenian veteran has often come under scrutiny by Interisti in recent years, but his reliability has been undeniable so far this season. No goalkeeper in Serie A with more than three appearances has recorded a higher save percentage than Handanovic (77.9%) this term. In what could be his final season at the club with Andre Onana soon arriving, the Inter skipper is enjoying a career year.
Milan Skriniar (CB) – We could include all three of Inter’s superb centre-backs in this team, but we’ve opted for just one: Milan Skriniar. Following a poor campaign in Antonio Conte’s first season in Milan, there were serious concerns over the rugged defender’s suitability in the manager’s back three. However, Skriniar responded with an incredible 2020/21 campaign amid the Nerazzurri’s Scudetto assault. His stellar form has perpetuated despite Conte’s departure and his knack of scoring the odd goal has continued as well. Skriniar’s scored twice in Serie A this season, but it’s his impressive consistency on the right of Simone Inzaghi’s back three that’s earned him a spot in this team.
Kalidou Koulibaly (CB) – The importance of Kalidou Koulibaly to Napoli has been clear over the past month. After he picked up a knock in the eventual draw with Sassuolo, Napoli lost three of their next four games in Serie A and dropped to fourth in the table after leading the way for so long with Koulibaly leading the Neapolitan defence. He’s a domineering presence. A centre-half who elevates the levels of those around him. The Senegalese international is widely responsible for Napoli’s superb defensive record this season – which is the best in Serie A.
Gleison Bremer (CB) – Gleison Bremer has come out of nowhere to emerge as one of Calcio’s sternest defenders. The Brazilian has thrived in Ivan Juric’s aggressive man-oriented defensive system and his numbers are extortionate as a result. Bremer has made the most interceptions (60), ball recoveries (155) and won the most aerial duels (69) in Serie A this season. He’s tidy enough with the ball, too, but it’s his controlled aggression that’s led to some of Europe’s elite taking notice. The 24-year-old is due a big move in the summer.