Saturday, August 30, 2008
They made their return to the Serie A in brilliant fashion thanks largely to the inspired signings of Ezequeil Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik. This summer Napoli went for a similar strategy making few transfers but those who have come in really count.
General director Pierpaolo Marino first went back to Argentina to bring in German Denis to partner Lavezzi up front and then raided Sampdoria for their right sided midfielder Christian Maggio.
Otherwise, Napoli have only brought in a couple of players to bulken up a squad that admittedly looks rather lightweight. Last season Napoli struggled when Marcelo Zalayeta suffered an injury and it could be a problem again this season if they were to suffer any similar injuries.
Key Man: Clubs had long been admiring the talents of Slovakian midfielder Marek Hamsik but it was only Napoli who made a bid big enough to convince Brescia into letting go. Their faith in him proved to be more than justified with Hamsik taking the Serie A by storm last season. With added maturity and consistency, he is bound to become even better.
Best bit of business: Antonio Cassano was Sampdoria’s undoubted star last season, but Christian Maggio caught the eye just as much with his hard work and excellent timing. Napoli certainly took note, focusing on him most of their resources during the summer.
Keep an eye out for…Andrea Russotto. As a sixteen year old at Lazio, Russotto made news by opting to move to Switzerland rather than change agents to join GEA as he was being pressured to do by the club. As a result, the talented player had fallen off the radar even though he’s spent the past two seasons at Treviso. Napoli have taken a gamble on him, taking Russotto on loan for the season, but he looks set to be another of Marino’s finds.