In third place in Serie A last season, Napoli slipped their foothold in the second half of the season in favor of champions Milan, Inter Milan. A satisfying, but also frustrating exercise for Partenopei who have been waiting for a title since 1990, forever. More than 32 years later, it’s still too early to talk about this famous Scudetto, but the 2022/2023 vintage from Naples is very interesting. A true strength of Luciano Spalletti and his men who have gone through a turbulent transition period. Already, it was certain since last winter that Lorenzo Insigne would leave his favorite club to go to Toronto. Added to this is the loss of his defensive coach Kalidou Koulibaly who left for Chelsea after one year of his contract, but also the transfer of a coach like Fabian Ruiz at the end of the transfer window for a contractual reason as well. If we add in other departures like Gennaro Totino (Parma), Adam Onas (Lille), Andrea Pitana (Monza), Dries Mertens (Galatasaray) or David Ospina (Victory), we had plenty of elements that suggested a transitional season.
Napoli had an impressive jackpot in these operations with almost 81 million euros raised, he reinvested almost all of that money (68 million euros), but cleaned up his finances while being inspired. As for the secondary roles, David Ospina made way for Salvatore Sirigu, Matthias Oliveira (Getafe) replaced Faouzi Gullam’s expiring contract, while Leo Ostegaard arrived from Brighton to replace Axel Tuanzebe who returned from loan to Manchester United. In midfield, the squad has been reinforced accordingly since Andre Frank Zambo Anguesa has certainly been recruited from Fulham while Tanguy Ndombele has been loaned from Tottenham and this makes up for the departure of Fabian Ruiz. Up front, Giovanni Simeone brings real competition to Victor Osimhen in place of the disappointing Andrea Betania while Giacomo Raspadori has arrived on loan with an option to buy to take over from Dries Mertens.
The Khvicha-Kim duo has already made everyone agree
The partenopei club targets their profiles perfectly, and has already been making two of its key leaders forget about the past decade. Excellently adopted in Rubin Kazan and Dinamo Batumi, the Khvicha Kvaratskhelia phenomenon (21) has been directly adopted by the Neapolitan public and completely compensates for the Lorenzo Insigne succession for the time being. The author of 4 goals and 2 performances in 7 matches, he is impressive with his ability to make one-on-one differences and his dynamism. The Georgian was a strongman at the start of Partenopei’s season and is already being seen as a major blow in this transfer window as he only cost the Italian team €10m, which benefited from the war started by Russia. In Ukraine Khiva and Kvaratskhelia return to the country to get the play at an affordable price.
“The first time I saw a bat in a video, we were in the middle of a lockdown. He must have been 19, but his feet were really good. Rino (Gennaro Gattuso’s editor’s note) was always there and we immediately loved him, I remember I called Kaladze (former Milan editor’s note) to find out more. He had moved to Lokomotiv Moscow, unsurprisingly, but Rubin Kazan defeated us. They demanded thirty million from us, and we stopped calling before the negotiation began. We were after Usimin (recruited in Lille vs. 80 million euros), we couldn’t bet much on this boy. Infidels? He is a very young boy, we believe in his qualities and hope he can still contribute to Napoli tonight. We have been following him for a while and anticipate the competition. He emphasized in particular Cristiano Giuntoli in Corriere dello Sport. By dividing the price of the Georgian by three, Napoli have already benefited as the left winger’s rating is at an all-time high.
With a draw with Stade Rennais to push Kim min-Jae and while Francesco Acerbi was seen as a substitute, Napoli could count themselves lucky as they managed to snatch the South Korean from Fenerbahce. If technically he still fell short of what Kalidou Coulibaly could achieve, his influence in duels and leadership was already being felt. In nine games this season, Napoli have conceded just six goals and are defensively assured of the second best record in Serie A. Gazzetta dello sport It reveals that the release clause for the player – which cost Napoli 18 million euros – to foreign parties is 50 million euros. Another major blow for sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli who has been heavily criticized in recent seasons. Added to this is Piotr Zelensky’s return to form after a disappointing 2022/2023 workout, Stanislav Lobotka gaining increasing importance at the heart of the game, and Emir Rahmani on his way to turn a corner kick in defense. The signs are green in Napoli to delight Luciano Spalletti, who appears to have found the formula with his already well-established 4-2-3-1 style. This Saturday against Torino, Napoli, who are currently in good shape, will try to continue their impressive start to the season.