Most of us expected stars like Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinković-Savić to perform well this season, and they managed without a doubt.
The following list, however, looks at the Lazio players that were unexpected to have a such a positive impact for the team – sort of like a ‘most improved’ list. These are the three players that surprised us this season:
3. Luiz Felipe
Luiz Felipe was purchased by Lazio from Brazilian club Ituano in August of 2016 and was immediately sent out on loan to Salernitana for the season. The young centre-back only made 7 appearances for the Serie B club last season – however, this year Inzaghi decided to bring the Brazilian to Lazio and he has performed admirably in the back for i biancocelesti, even becoming a starter near the end of the season.
Who would have thought that a player who played only 7 games in the Serie B last season would end up making 31 appearances in the Serie A this season. Luiz Felipe was also a big part of our Europa League run as he played in 10 matches and had a great 7.04 average rating according to whoscored.com, good enough to be our highest rated defender in the tournament!
2. Lucas Leiva
Our second surprise of the season is once again a Brazilian, this time Lucas Leiva. After spending 10 years with Liverpool, the defensive midfielder took his services to Lazio as a replacement for departed captain Lucas Biglia. However, it turns out Lucas Leiva was not just a replacement, he was an improvement!
The 31-year-old had an excellent season for Lazio, making 50 appearances for Inzaghi’s side, 36 of them in the Serie A. He had a stellar average match rating of 7.26 in the Serie A and 7.36 in the Europa League according to whoscored.com, good enough for 5th and 3rd on the team respectively. Lucas’ rating for Liverpool last year: 6.68, all the way down in 13th on the team. What an improvement.
1. Luis Alberto
It’s no surprise at all that our biggest surprise of the season is the Spanish maestro Luis Alberto. Our second former Liverpool player on this list, Luis Alberto was deemed a flop by many. Lazio bought him in August of 2016 from Liverpool for 5 million euros and did not have much of an impact in his first season at the Olimpico. That being said, he was not really given a chance with only 10 appearances.
This season was a whole different story for the creative midfielder as he made 47 appearances for Lazio scoring 12 goals and providing 21 assists! Last season he ranked 11th on the team with an average Serie A rating of 6.76 (whoscored.com). This season he was the highest ranked player on the entire team, with a crazy average rating of 7.69. Definitely a pleasant surprise for Laziali.