Saturday, 28 July 2012

Have Napoli replaced Lavezzi?

It is the biggest question revolving around the Stadio San Paolo this summer. With no Champions League to participate in this year one of the 'big three' was bound to leave Napoli this offseason.

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has said that star striker Edinson Cavani will not be sold, unless a crazy offer of 100m Euro came along. Marek Hamsik has also pledged his allegiance to Naples. That meant Ezequiel Lavezzi was going to be the one to go, Napoli clearly identified that Lavezzi would be the easiest to replace of the three.

Ezequiel Lavezzi

Are they right? Maybe, maybe not, let's examine. I think we can all agree that Edinson Cavani is one of the most prolific finishers in the world. While Hamsik can score as well, but its the creator in him that makes him a tad better than Lavezzi in my book. Lavezzi and Hamsik each had nine goals in the league last year, but Hamsik had four more assists than Lavezzi did. Marek Hamsik is also two years younger than Ezequiel, and there is one more factor that plays into this. Flash. There is no question that Lavezzi just has more of it than Hamsik, and to be honest I really think Napoli were able to pull more money out of PSG because of that. It sounds stupid but I truly believe it. Hamsik will consistently play better but it can go unnoticed. Lavezzi on the other hand can disappear for parts of games, but can wow you with his speed and footwork without a moments notice.
Marek Hamsik

The biggest reason it was easy to take the 26m Euro for Lavezzi rather than letting go of Hamsik or Cavani is Lorenzo Insigne. This kid is the real deal and Napoli need to develop him at the top level, and good on them for giving the kid a chance. At least right now it seems like they will give him a chance. We will have a full player profile to come on this rising Azzurrini star but here is a touch about him to start. He was born in Naples, and is a product of the Napoli youth system. He scored 19 goals in Serie B last season and is already scoring bucketloads in the pre-season, including one goal against German giants Bayern Munich.

Lorenzo Insigne

Along with Mr. Insigne Napoli purchased Eduardo Vargas. Another incredible young talent out of Chile, Eduardo will look to provide some of that speed and flare that will be missing now that the Argentine Ezequiel Lavezzi has left town. He was signed in January for just above 14m Euro, so now that he has had the end of last season to get himself settled into Italy and the Serie A Walter Mazzarri is expecting a lot out of the big money signing.

Eduardo Vargas

This is exactly why Ezequiel Lavezzi was expendable. Insigne and Eduardo Vargas should actually make the team better because they can spread the offense around a little bit more, however there will be some growing pains for the two. I also like that Napoli has also added to the rest of the squad. Players like Behrami and Gamberini have already been purchased and will improve the overall quality of the squad while the latest rumours have them taking a run at Palermo's Federico Balzaretti. They really were a team last year that had a great attack but severely lacked in depth, andoverall quality. These problems seem to be fixed.

Behrami and Gamberini

They may have lost Lavezzi's flash and dash, but in comes younger talent with an overall better squad. Well done Napoli.


  1. Reading this article after almost 2 months, it is clear that your words were true... And I completely agree.

    I am a big SSC Napoli Fan. I ve been watching them for like 3 years and out of the famous Trident Lavezzi was by far my least favorite. So you can imagine how Happy I was when they decided to sell him.

    I was watching Insigne in Seria B last season and was very happy to see him replace lavezzi in pre-season games so easily. Vargas, if he ever adapts to Italian football will be big as well.
    You forgot to mention Pandev, who is also a very valuable replacement for lavezzi.

    And to be honest, Departure of Lavezzi was the best thing that ever happened for Hamsik. He is the main playmaker now and works wonders. He scores, he creates chances and is constantly on the ball with Il Matador and Pandev / Insigne in front of him. No wonders he was in team of the week 5 times out of 7 matches (acording to infamous :P )

    I say Scuddetto for Napoli this year! :)

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