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#5 Franck Kessie
Now 22, he weighed in with seven goals in 34 appearances this season, but also looked more comfortable on the ball this term, and played with greater poise.
Kessie certainly ended the season strongly—he was a dominant force in May—prompting rumours of a move to West Ham United.
#4 Ismael Bennacer
The former Arsenal youngster may have suffered relegation with Empoli this term, but he can nonetheless look back on a fine campaign which should set him up for bigger and better things down the line.
A deep-lying playmaker of natural composure and prodigious defensive output, the 21-year-old contributed five assists this term, prompting interest from Napoli among others.
He’s secured a spot in Algeria’s Nations Cup squad, where he should have the opportunity to shine further.
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#3 Nicolas Nkoulou
This season, he’s been influential as the Turin-based side pushed hard for the European places, proving influential in Torino’s build-up play and making a series of vital defensive contributions.
The Central African averaged 1.9 interceptions per match this term—the eighth best in the division—and he’ll be missed by the Indomitable Lions in Egypt.
#2 Kevin Malcuit
This term, he’s established himself as one of the finest right-backs in Serie A, defensively astute and capable of causing damage going forward.
Don’t be surprised if the likes of Manchester United come calling this summer.
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#1 Kalidou Koulibaly
Only one player in the division—Internazionale’s Marcelo Brozovic—averaged more passes per match than Koulibaly, who’s a critical component of the Partenopei’s build-up player.