HAPPY NEW YEAR. Well, its been an awful long time time since i actually wrote anything, nearly three months infact. Instead of going through all that has happened since my last post (too much) so I thought I would look at the possible moves Napoli could/should make this transfer window.
At the end of December sporting director Riccardo Bigon finalised the singing of Eduardo Vargas from Universidad de Chile in a deal similar to that which brought Edinson Cavani to the club. At the conclusion of this deal Bigon said the market was now closed but president Aurellio De Laurentiis raised doubts about this when advising that the market is ‘permanently open’ if a bargain appears.
(Eduardo Vargas - the NEW Alexis Sanchez/Ezequiel Lavezzi/Jose Luis Calderon, delete as appropriate. Picture - Sport)
So is Riccardo Bigon going to have a quiet transfer window as he hopes? I doubt it…
Defense - The foot injury sustained so early in the season and so close to the end of the transfer window for Miguel Britos meant Napoli did not have enough time to find an adequate replacement. Luckilly Salvatore Aronica has performed as well as can be expected however he is out of contract in the summer. Aronica has been linked with a move to Atalanta but I see a situation similar to Michele Pazienza last year where he stays until his contract runs out and then departs. Outcast Leandro Rinaudo has been linked with a move away to Novara and is currently not training with the team.
(Rinaudo has scored more goals for Napoli than Mario Santana and Marco Donadel combined - FACT)
The return of Miguel Britos should mean we do not need to strengthen in this area however if someone like Salvatore Bocchetti should become avaliable then I think we should seriously consider a move with a view to Aronica’s contract running out in the summer.
Midfield - This is an area of the pitch where I look at the list of players we have and on paper you think ‘yeah, thats quite good’. Gokhan Inler and Walter Gargano have perfomed well but those that have came in last summer have not performed as expected. Blerim Dzemaili has had peaks and troughs when he has played. Mario Santana has not perfored to the standard I had expected and Marco Donadel has been conspicuous by his abscence. Napoli had a ready made replacement for Michele Pazienza in Hassan Yebda but decided against paying the €2.2 Million to keep a member of the team who had already been intergrated into the squad and performing well. I still think this was the wrong decision.
Napoli have been linked with moves for Antonio Candreva and Mehdi Benatia but the player I would like to see arrive would be Angelo Palombo from Sampdoria. I think he is an exceptional midfield talent and he has worked under Walter Mazzarri before. Christian Maggio and Hugo Campagnaro are testiment that Mazzarri can improve players he has worked with previouisly and I can see the same with Palombo if he was to join Napoli.
(The only sighting of Marco Donadel in a Napoli shirt…..)
Fiorentina are rumoured to have expressed an interest in Marco Donadel although Riccardo Bigon is insistant that he is going to be like a new signing this January. Mario Santana has been linked with a move to various sides and I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of Donadel or Santana leave this month.
Attack - Edinson Cavani is not for sale. Marek Hamsik is not for sale. Ezequiel Lavezzi HAS A RELEASE CLAUSE set at €31,000,000. If any club triggers this then he can go if he agrees terms, this is a fact Aurellio De Laurentiis has not tired in telling us all in the past.
In all honesty I can’t see Lavezzi leaving unless clubs get desperate towards the end of the window for a striker and trigger the clause. (I am looking at you Liverpool and Chelsea). Transfer windows have come and gone before where he could have gone and he has not departed so why should this one be any different?
(Two goals against Juventus have kickstarted the Pandynator’s season)
The arrival of Eduardo Vargas does raise major doubts over the future of Giuseppe Mascara who has not played very often. He has been linked with moves back to Catania and also Novara. Goran Pandev finding form recently should mean that no other moves should be made in this area.
Well, thats my opinion. Let the crazy mercato begin…….