Serie A Player of the Month in January – Mattia Perin

The most prolific Serie A player in January is slightly out of left field, but not super surprising for who has been following the league closely, as the nod goes to Mattia Perin, who bested everybody by a decent margin with his 26-point haul in January.

Genoa have been absolutely stifling under the new manager Davide Ballardini have turned the season around with 14 points in the last seven matches, climbing the table up to the the 14th position while they were dead last before the coaching change.

The goalkeeper has kept four clean sheets in a row, versus Bologna, Atalanta, Cagliari and Crotone, giving up just two goals in the month, in the first match against Sassuolo. The back-line has been robust with the introduction of Ivan Radovanovic, generally a midfield throughout his career, as linchpin, flanked by the veterans Andrea Masiello and Domenico Criscito. The whole posture of the team is more defensive-minded now, which has surely contributed, they added some more experience and grit with Kevin Strootman.

The schedule was not super difficult, but they faced some fizzy teams in the most recent stretch and they were able to contain even Atalanta. As he is one to do, the bouncy goalkeeper had some standout performances as well, producing some monster saves to help out his team, shining in particular in the date with the Sardinians, where he denied a pair of point-blank attempts by the opponents. The Grifone had surrendered 26 goals in the first 13 contests, so the improvement on that side of the ball has been tremendous, plus a red-hot Mattia Destro has powered them on the other end.

While Perin picked up the most point in the Peninsula over the last 30 days, he was unable to make the EuroFantasyLeague Team of the Month as Manchester City’s Ederson (35 points) topped him.

The lone Serie A representative in the continental XI is Josip Ilicic, who has been raining hellfire for few rounds in a row, absorbing the mammoth creative void left by the departure Alejandro Gomez and dishing classy plays left and right. He accumulated 20 points thanks two goals and three assists in the past seven matches. He had some major highlights in the dazzling display versus Benevento, where he scored a gem and set up a teammate, and was even more impressive against Milan, where he often left defenders on his tracks with his sudden moves and found the target by wrong-footing Gianluigi Donnarumma with a sly shot, playing a key role in a stunning rout.

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