Cremonese will play in Serie A for the first time in 1996 next season after claiming second spot in Serie B.
A faltering finish to the campaign saw them surrender the title to Lecce, but a win over Como on the final day meant they held off both Pisa and Monza in the race for the other automatic promotion spot.
The Grigiorossi only returned to the second tier in 2017 and following four mid-table finishes on the spin, an influx of talented young loanees helped them exceed expectations in 2021/22. A leading protagonist in Cremonese’s successful campaign was Juventus’ Nicolo Fagioli, who had teased his talent during two appearances under Andrea Pirlo last season.
His sparkling display against SPAL in the Coppa Italia was followed up by a bright cameo against Crotone in Serie C, and the young midfielder’s performances this season have served as vindication for those who were quick to jump on the Fagioli hype train.
Nicolo Fagioli enjoyed a stellar loan spell at Cremonese & helped them earn promotion to Serie A
While his production slowed during the second half of the season, Fagioli still ended the Serie B campaign with an impressive ten goal contributions considering that he was often deployed in a deeper-lying midfield position.
Both Fagioli and Napoli’s Gianluca Gaetano, who scored eight Serie A goals, have staked their claims to be a part of their respective first-team squads next season. Juve’s Luca Zanimacchia also enjoyed a fine season in Serie B with Cremonese as he contributed to 14 goals.
It’s Fagioli, though, who’s garnered the most buzz among Juventus supporters. There’s genuine potential for him to earn regular minutes under Max Allegri next season. The Juve boss is believed to be a huge admirer of the 20-year-old, once describing Fagioli as a player “who knows football and its tempo very well”.
Alongside Fabio Miretti, who has finally started to earn minutes for the senior side after excelling for Juve’s Under-19s, Fagioli could lead a homegrown midfield revolution in Turin. Nicolo Rovella is another talent who could play for the first team next season, but his minutes have recently dwindled with Genoa.
Nevertheless, Juve’s plan regarding Fagioli remains unclear. Will he be integrated into Allegri’s squad, or is another loan in the offing? Perhaps he’ll continue with Cremonese as they bid to prolong their stay in the top-flight.
But there’s no doubting that Fagioli is ready to compete for minutes at the highest level. He’s just that good, and Juventus must start taking risks with their brightest young talent if they’re to ever realise their potential in Turin.