Predictably, the top point-getters among those listed as midfielders fully play as strikers. Some have done it for few years now, like Dries Mertens, who unleashed holy hell on the opponents down the stretch and run away atop of the chart with his 111 points, and Gregoire Defrel, who had a strong start and a prolific finish and collected 74 points. Others, like Josip Ilicic (72) underwent the transformation mid-season with good profits.
However, as far as the column goes, the choices fell on those who actually feature either as no.10, as winger or as a central midfielder.
Alejandro Gomez (63): he did the opposite compared to his Slovenian teammate, as he commenced the year as second-striker, but moved his position way back as the games went along, featuring as pure attacking midfielder in the second half of the season. His numbers decreased compared to his stellar 2017/2018 campaign, but he become even more crucial to his team’s success as the main hub for all the offensive actions. After all, his creative skills exceed his finishing ones and the change was a no-brainer seeing how much Ilicic and Zapata got to score thanks to El Papu’s inventions. He racked up seven goals, including the most important one, the 2-1 versus Sassuolo, and 11 assists.
Ivan Perisic (61): prolonged slumps continue to hold him back and prevent him from going to the next level, but he put together solid numbers thanks to a sprint in the final portion of the season, even though he did not reach double-digit like in the past two years. He has the largest radius of performances of any player: he in uncontainable on his day, but completely invisible and borderline irritating when he is not feeling it. He notched eight goals and four assists.
Riccardo Orsolini (58): he was blessed by the hiring of Sinisa Mihajlovic and was a terror in the final two months, where he scored six goals and provided two assists in the final 11 games, after bagging just two up to that point. The new coach gave him plenty of playing time on the right wing and he showed off his quickness, shooting and dribbling abilities and boldness that had put him on the map at Ascoli and during the 2017 U-20 World Cup.
Suso (58): like Perisic, he can fall into long slumps, but he is even more vital to his team’s success than the Croatian international. He did very little from November to mid-April, netting just one goal in 18 appearances, but he was dazzling at the beginning and at the conclusion of the season, picking up the remaining six goals and his nine helpers de facto in 17 games excluding the central block. He also buried the prettiest free kick of the year. Without that big blemish, Milan probably would not have been excluded by Champions League by one point.
Radja Nainggolan (55): he had a forgettable first half of the season due to constant nagging injuries and poor form, but he showed up when Inter needed him the most from February on, putting his name in the scoresheet four times, at times, like in the Juventus clash, in spectacular fashion, and amassing three assists after the turn of the Calendar year. He was not always there, but Luciano Spalletti basically built his system around his role.
Piotr Zielinski (50): the Polish midfielder continues to improve at Napoli and added another role to his collection, since Carlo Ancelotti used him as left winger after he opted to switch to a 4-4-2. He does not have blistering speed, but he played the position with great savviness and became a very precious tactical weapon and a constant source of dangerous forays. He found the target six times and his piledriver against Inter is among Serie A’s top goals of the season.
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