Sassuolo were thoroughly impressive in taking the Serie B crown, ensuring their promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history. On paper, the minnows -- whose own stadium is so small they'll use Reggiana's next season -- shouldn't stand a chance of survival. However, owned by a wealthy adhesives entrepreneur, the neroverdi have managed to make several ambitious signings, giving themselves a good chance of sticking around in Serie A.
After losing in the Serie B playoffs two seasons ago, Sassuolo were out for revenge. Under coach Eusebio Di Francesco they enjoyed an almost-perfect season, practically leading from start to finish while playing an attractive, possession-based game. A late wobble meant it wasn't completely plain sailing, though the neroverdi still secured the Serie B title by three points.
Gennaro Troianiello: Veteran winger Troianiello will be staying in Serie B for another season, having been sold to newly-relegated Palermo. He started less than half of Sassuolo's games in a squad-rotation role last season, so won't be too badly missed.
Michele Troiano: Same story as above. Troiano has gone to Lega Pro side Virtus Entella on a free transfer.
Richmond Boakye: The young Ghanaian striker has spent the last couple of seasons on loan at Sassuolo from Juventus, though he won't be returning for a third. Despite showing talent, he's only scored 21 league goals in the last two years, with his finishing too often letting him down. Di Francesco won't be crying himself to sleep.
Raman Chibsah: Losing Chibsah is rather more concerning for the neroverdi. He spent last season on loan from Parma, and excelled as a box-to-box midfielder -- so much so that Parma have decided to keep him this season. He leaves big boots to fill in midfield.
Andrea Catellani: Winger Catellani was used on a squad rotation basis last season, chipping in with six goals in total. He played well, and we could see him turning out for parent club Catania this season.
Simone Zaza: Chased by several Serie A sides, Sassuolo have pulled off a coup in signing the talented striker Zaza. The 22-year-old has been purchased from Ascoli in co-ownership with Juventus, after netting 18 league goals in Serie B last season. A strong, mobile forward, he should prove to be an upgrade on Boakye.
Francesco Acerbi: The capture of Acerbi represents another hugely impressive signing for the Serie A first-timers, who fended off interest from Parma and Chievo Verona to seal the deal for the Genoa centre-back.
Jonathan Rossini: The one-time Swiss international appeared in 25 league games for Sampdoria last season, and is capable of playing both at centre-back and left-back. He's a useful addition and at 24, is still relatively young.
Jasmin Kurtić: After enjoying a great season in Serie B with Varese a couple of seasons ago, many expected Kurtić to establish himself in the top flight at Palermo last season. However, the rosanero were relegated, with the central midfielder failing to impress. Now 24, he's looking for a breakthrough season.
Marius Alexe: Despite Alexe reportedly being subject to interest from Fulham, Sassuolo have managed to sign the Dinamo București forward on a loan deal. Possessing great pace and good dribbling, expect to see him out on the left of Di Francesco's attacking trident this season.
Antonio Rosati: Having been Napoli's backup keeper over the last couple of seasons, Rosati may find himself playing regular football this campaign. He's arrived on loan from the partenopei, and will challenge Sassuolo's first-choice keeper Alberto Pomini for the gloves.
Keep An Eye On
Domenico Berardi. Teenager Domenico Berardi scored 11 league goals last season, becoming an important part of the first-team after only making his debut in August. The attacker can usually be found cutting inside off the right-flank or curling a free-kick into the top corner, and has been a transfer target of Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City among others. Still only 19, he's definitely one to watch.
Sassuolo have been intelligent in their transfer dealings, managing to blend quality, youth and Serie A experience in their arrivals. There are definitely parallels to be made between themselves and Pescara last season -- both won promotion playing exciting, offensive football -- but Sassuolo have crucially been smarter in their transfers; not solely gambling on unproven talent. The neroverdi's project will be an interesting one to follow, and they may just have enough to keep their heads above water.