SERIE A 2020-21 SEASON PREVIEW: Are Napoli ready to fight for the title?

It was a mixed season for Napoli when one looks at the bigger picture. They finished 7th in the table and failed to qualify for European football. But then, they won the Coppa Italia against Juventus and the rules suggest the winner of the Italian Cup goes straight to the group stages of the Europa League. But there are some concerns over the squad’s performance and so the doubt remains – are Napoli good enough to secure European football and perhaps, an outside contender for the Scudetto? 

Transfer Activity

Napoli signed 21-year-old Victor Osimhen from Lille for a club-record deal of 70 million pounds. In addition, they’re also looking at Jordan Veretout and Jeremie Boga who will reinforce their midfield and wings. The speculation is ongoing about Koulibaly but news suggests that Napoli have to sell because of the expected financial losses.

Strength

The biggest positive for Napoli is the fact that they have a core set of players who understand the system and consistently perform well. Their attack scored 61 goals last season and that will only be reinforced by the arrival of Victor Osimhen. With midfield forces like Fabian Ruiz and attackers in Mertens and Lozano, they are set to form vital partnerships who can constantly create movements and chances.

Weakness

The defensive organisation is something that is rarely lacking in Gennaro Gattuso’s philosophy. Yet, Napoli have managed to push higher up leaving ample space behind. Affected by counters and mistakes in crucial passes on the flanks, they ended up conceding 50 goals in 38 games. If the second season under Gatusso is to be better, the backline has to be fully focused and concentrated in such situations.

Key Player

A long-standing member of the squad and captain, Lorenzo Insigne. The 5’3″ winger might be diminutive in nature but has the knack of zipping past defenders and curling the ball into the top corners with fierce shots. With a return of 8 goals and 6 assists last season, the Italian international will want to improve on this tally and perform even better.

Predicted Table Finish

3rd Place: Expect Napoli to be back playing in the premier European competition next season. Gattuso had enough resources to steer them to this objective and if a few situations go their way, they can also be involved in the title race.

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Bhargav Gopal
The quintessential football aficionado who knows a thing or two about Economics. One can often find me reading detective novels with coffee when I am away from the sports world.

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