Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Lorenzo Insigne....Believe the Hype

In the hours proceeding this blog posting, Napoli will have completed their biggest off-season maneuver... (in my opinion) ..giving Lorenzo Insigne a 1-year contract extension, which will run until 2017 (with an obvious pay increase for the kid).

[can Lavezzi lift this?]

You may be wondering why would Napoli be giving a 21-year old who has only ever played 1 minute of competitive calcio in the Serie A a contract extension?

Is it because in Napoli's last two friendly games he has tore it up with a goal and an assist against Bayern Munich or his assist and conistent pressure in Napoli's other friendly win over Bayern Leverkusen 2-1?

Is it because of how good "Lorenzinho" (as dubbed by the Napoli faithful) looked in his last two seasons playing under now Roma head coach Zednek Zemans 4-3-3?

- in the 2010/11 season Insigne was loaned to Foggia (who was coached by Zeman at the time) and scored 19 goals in 33 appearances.

- the following season Insigne was once again loaned out from Napoli to a Zeman coached Pescara team. Alongside fellow Italian youth prospects Marco Verratti and Ciro Immobile; Lorenzinho scored 18 goals in 37 appearances to help Pescara to promotion from Serie B to Serie A.

Although these could be factors in the re-signing. It mostly has to do with the fact that Napoli has just sold Lavezzi, and since Napoli head coach uses the 4-3-3, Insigne is the perfect candidate to replace Lavezzi on the left to pair up with Cavani and Hamsik. 

I watched quite a bit of Pescara matches this past season to catch a glimpse of what I hoped would be a future Juventus signing in Marco Verratti (sigh) and Juventus owned striker Ciro Immobile. But it was Lorenzinho who caught my eye, and had me watching more Serie B soccer than I ever have.

His constant sprint with and without the ball on offense are very entertaining to watch. Having only recently joined the Italy Under-21 program, the hype around the young talent is quickly forming and with good reason.

A lot of credit must be given to Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentis for not only producing the greatest Italian comedy but for also locking down a player who let alone was born and raised in the streets of Napoli, but was brought up in the teams very own youth soccer system. And nothing upsets ultras more than letting your own youth prospects go.....just ask Massimo Moratti.

Poised to play a prominent role in the Napoli starting lineup this season, I believe he will help Napoli achieve a top 4 finish this season.

With players like Lorenzo Insigne and Matteo Destro going to better football clubs it will only help Italy's potential stars, to become superstars.

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