Not a vintage season so far for shot-stoppers in Serie A, so Samir Handanovic really does stand head and shoulders above his peers.
Inter’s defenders may be proving prone to inexplicable lapses in concentration but the man behind them has been wonderfully reliable.
No goalkeeper has kept more clean sheets in the league than the Slovenian (eight), who also boasts an excellent 77.78 save percentage.
Inter are still smarting from their inability to sign Joao Cancelo on a permanent deal due to their financial problems.
The Portugal international had excelled during his season-long loan from Valencia, so Juventus were only too happy to swoop for the dynamic full-back during the summer.
Cancelo has pretty much picked up in Turin where he left off in Milan, proving a fantastic attacking outlet for the Bianconeri – he has two assists to his name already – as well as offering solidity in defence, whether employed on the right or left-hand side.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis recently admitted that he turned down a £90 million bid from Manchester United for Kalidou Koulibaly during the summer. It was the right call.
The Senegal centre-half has once again been a colossus at the back for the Partenopei, the foundation on which their brave bid to keep up with Juventus has been built.
Indeed, only two defenders have made more recoveries than Koulibaly (116), while he has also been incredibly dominant in the air.
Giorgio Chiellini may have turned 34 before the season began but he remains one of the finest exponents of the art of defending still at work today.
Being reunited with Leonardo Bonucci has undoubtedly benefited Chiellini, given the duo’s contrasting attributes are so complementary, but he has been the pick of the pair.
Juve have conceded just eight goals so far this term and that is mainly down to Chiellini’s incredible drive, fantastic man-marking and excellent leadership skills.
That Alex Sandro has long been a transfer target for the Premier League’s biggest clubs is testament to his fantastic ability.
There was even recent talk that Juventus were willing to cash in on the Brazilian but they have instead decided to extend his contract until 2023.
It’s easy to understand why, with Sandro once again stating a strong case to be considered the best left-back in the world with his marauding runs down the wing.
SPAL boss Leonardo Semplici believes that Manuel Lazzari “has the quality to go play for a top club”. Anyone who has seen the wide-man in action this season would agree wholeheartedly.
Only Suso has created more goals than the versatile Lazzari (five), who has been a constant source of creativity for SPAL, whether deployed as a wing-back, right-sided midfielder or orthodox winger.
One of the best central midfielders in the game today, Allan is finally getting the recognition his talent deserves, primarily due to his sensational performances for Napoli in the Champions League this season.
The Brazilian, who earned his first international cap in November, has also been excellent in Serie A, though, ensuring that Jorginho has barely been missed at the San Paolo with his pinpoint passing, non-stop pressing, as well as providing the Partenopei backline with even greater protection.
Nicolo Barella is one of the most exciting young players to emerge in Serie A in years, a midfielder blessed with a mix of tenacity and technique that Fabio Capello has already compared to Italy legend Marco Tardelli.
In that context, it’s hardly surprising that new Azzurri coach Roberto Mancini elected to give the 21-year-old a first international cap in October.
Just as he has in almost every outing for Cagliari this season, Barella impressed with his energy, ability to recover possession, either through tough tackling or perceptive interceptions, and his wide range of passing.
As one of the few genuinely quality players in an otherwise mundane AC Milan squad, Suso has suffered sometimes this season because of the weakness of his supporting cast.
Yet, in spite of this, no player in Serie A has registered more assists (8) than the classy Spaniard, who has been repeatedly linked with a move to Chelsea and Real Madrid, among others.
Given Suso’s quick feet, inventiveness and eye for a pass, Milan will do well to hold on to the former Liverpool man.
The undoubted signing of the season so far, Krzysztof Piatek has taken Serie A by storm since joining Genoa from Cracovia during the summer for just €4 million (£4.1m / $5.1m).
The 23-year-old is the league’s top scorer, with a whopping 13 goals from just 17 appearances, while it is worth noting that he also struck six times in just two Coppa Italia outings.
Piatek’s fine form has not only earned him a first Poland cap (and goal), it’s also attracted the interest of the likes of Napoli and Barcelona. As a result, he takes our central striking berth ahead of the resurgent Sampdoria veteran Fabio Quagliarella.
There were those that wondered if Cristiano Ronaldo would struggle to score quite so freely in Serie A after the Portuguese failed to net in his first three league outings for Juventus.
However, after breaking his duck with a double against Sassuolo, the goals are flowing again. Indeed, the 33-year-old has proven he remains as potent as ever, with a grand total of 11 goals from 17 games, while his overall game has been consistently excellent, as underlined by his record of five assists.
Put simply: there is no better player in Serie A right now.
So, there you have it! This is our final selection. Do you agree with our choices? Are there any glaring omissions? Let us know in the comments box.