Serie A Player of the Month – Marco Benassi


The first three weeks have been a little odd fantasy-wise as many of the most recognizable Serie A players underperformed. A clear signal of the fact that things are progressing in an awkward way is the fact that no striker is among the top earners so far. Atalanta’s ace Alejandro Gomez, SPAL’s goalie Alfred Gomis and Marco Benassi have been the best three players so far, collecting 14 points each.

The bubbly Argentinian gathered all his points in one scintillating performance against Frosinone, where he scored a brace and provided two assists. Gomis had the same haul thanks to the clean sheets against Bologna and Parma and there is not much to say about that other than the fact that the Estensi are extremely well-drilled and have conceded the fewer goals so far, tied with Fiorentina and Sampdoria but with one more game.

So naturally the choice for player of the month is Marco Benassi, who made fantasy managers rejoice in both games, while Papu sat one out and had a goose egg against Cagliari. The midfielder is also the poster boy for Fiorentina, which have been one of the most impressive squads in the League so far. They exploded last week versus Chievo, where they scored a hefty six goals, while a single one on Sunday was enough to top Udinese. The opening match against Sampdoria was postponed for the tragedy that occurred in Genoa.

Benassi already netted three goals, so he is tied with Krzysztof Piatek atop of the scorers’ chart. He notched five last season, so it is safe to say he is on pace to beat that. He has always been reasonably prone to scoring in his time at Torino, but he took another step in Florence. This final leap into the upper echelon of midfielders could come this year, after all he has always showed to be total package, but at times he lacked consistency and perhaps a little of self-confidence. That has not been case to start the 2018/2019 season.

The Viola’s tactic is more streamlined this year, a clear-cut 4-3-3 that permits the box-to-box midfielders to have a clear channel to cut in the box, between the winger and the centre-forward. He exploited it to perfection in his second personal goal against Chievo, connecting on a long cross by Cristiano Biraghi on the opposite portion of the box. The other two scores came on counters: in the first fixture, he chose his lane beautifully on a two-man attack with Giovanni Simeone, who powered down the left flank and picked him out with a robust delivery for an easy header. Then this week he outrun Kevin Lasagna and coordinated tremendously on Federico Chiesa’s little ball over the top to smash it right under the bar on the second bounce.

Benassi could be poised to have a significant role in Italy as well, since the Azzurri have now a young core of midfielders and are looking for new reference points.

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