Napoli

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Serie A

Round 4

Napoli 4 - 1 Atalanta
2020-10-17 15:00 More Reports
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Europa League

Round Grp F (1)

2020-10-22 18:55:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2020/2021

Napoli

In


Victor Osimhen (att)(Lille OSC); Amir Rrahmani (def)(Hellas Verona, end of loan); Andrea Petagna (att)(Spal, end of loan)

Out


Jose Callejon (r)(att)(released); Orestis Karnezis (gk)(Lille OSC); Allan (sp)(mid)(Everton)  

Had they not triumphed over Juventus in the Coppa Italia, Napoli would have had no reason to remember the past season. In fact, they never were in contention for the Scudetto nor for a top 4 finish, and also suffered an early exit from the Champions League. After a disastrous beginning of the campaign, also characterized by a rebellion in the squad, which eventually cost guru Ancelotti his job, they hired Gennaro Gattuso instead, but things really got going only after mid-January. Gattuso never gave Napoli the fantastic play they had displayed in the Sarri years, but he gave the team personality and a fighting attitude they might have lacked before, and for that reason, his confirmation at the helm was well deserved. Revenge is a dish best served cold and President De Laurentiis took his own personal revenge on some of the players who had led the rebellion during Ancelotti’s tenure. So, long-serving Callejon was released and Allan was sold to Everton, after losing his regular status in January. For one reason or another, since Higuain’s departure, Napoli had no 20-goal scorer, and so they invested a massive amount of cash for 21-year-old Osimhen, who did very well last season at Lille OSC, 13 goals and 5 assists. Petagna also arrived after the end of his loan at SPAL but he might be used as a pawn for some other exchange. Rrahmani is set to become a protagonist at the back after his extraordinary season at Hellas Verona, especially if Koulibaly ends up being sold abroad. Napoli are still searching for reliable full-backs, Di Lorenzo was surprising at right-back but had no valid alternative, a central midfielder, as Demme and Lobotka were far from outstanding, and wingers. With Callejon gone and Lozano looking like a bad investment, Politano does not seem to be enough for the right wing.

Target


Napoli still have an incomplete squad, and things being as they are, they might only be aiming for a European spot.

Season Review
2019/2020

№7: Napoli

After finishing as runners-up last season under Carlo Ancelotti, there was optimism in Naples that they could go one better under one of the greatest managers of modern times. Unfortunately, things quickly soured under Carletto both on and off the field. The season started in kamikaze fashion with a 4-3 win over Fiorentina followed by a 4-3 defeat against Juventus. Ancelotti managed to steady the defence with a solid run of 5 clean sheets in the next 9 games (W6 D2 L1) but problems began to arise towards the end of the year. Napoli went 9 games without a win across all competitions. Within that poor run there was the infamous "civil war" within the club. President Aurelio De Laurentiis wanted the squad to be put into a training retreat - an idea that didn't sit well with the players and one which Ancelotti himself publicly disagreed with. The training retreat went ahead regardless but the players publicly embarrassed Ancelotti by staging a mutiny and leaving the camp. The manager's relationship both with players and the president was strained to the point that it soon became untenable. Despite his troubles domestically, Ancelotti still showed his nous in the Champions League, including a memorable win over European champions Liverpool, but he was sacked immediately after achieving qualification from the group stage against Genk. Gennaro Gattuso was a surprise choice to replace his former Milan boss and it didn't look a good one at first. Napoli lost 4 of his first 5 league games in charge and looked likely to miss out on European qualification. The Coppa Italia proved to be a saving grace for the Partenopei - with Gattuso masterminding narrow wins over both Lazio and Inter Milan. Napoli went on a run of 7 wins from 9 games - including a victory over champions Juventus and a respectable first leg draw with Barcelona in the Champions League last 16. And then the Coronavirus pandemic struck. The lockdown looked like disastrous timing for Napoli given the form they were in but they returned to the comfort of the Coppa Italia where they finished the job off in the second leg of the semi-final with Inter and then overcame Juve on penalties in the final, giving Gattuso a quick and unexpected first piece of silverware. Winning the cup also meant that the club qualified for the Europa League and, with no realistic chance of getting into the top 4, their league form inevitably dipped towards the end of the campaign. Meanwhile, their slim chance of success the Champions League was ended in Barcelona despite a spirited effort. All in all, given the situation that Gattuso arrived into, he did about as well as he could have done and arguably overachieved with a trophy. All indications point to him being given a new contract. Gattuso will need to address an ageing squad in the summer. Dries Mertens is in the twilight of his career but still managed to become the club's all-time leading goalscorer this season - ahead of the likes of Diego Maradona and Marek Hamsik. Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne are also getting on in years - with neither having a vintage season. Kalidou Koulibaly had another solid campaign but big clubs continue to circle for his signature. Arkadiusz Milik ended the season as top scorer in the league but has also been angling for a move away. While the big club record summer signing Hirving Lozano proved to be something of a letdown - there were other shrewd pieces of business done - including January recruits Stan Lobotka and Diego Demme - but it was Giovanni Di Lorenzo who made the biggest impact after arriving in the summer. The former Empoli right-back displayed great versatility throughout the season by playing in almost every position except centre-forward! A few more signings in his mould could see Napoli be challenging for the top places again.


Player of the Season: Giovanni Di Lorenzo

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