Since last winning the Serie A in the 1989/90 season, with Diego Maradona famously spearheading their team to their second Scudetto in four seasons, Napoli have come close many times to winning their third league title, finishing second five times, but this season with a new-look squad, they seem to be best positioned to finally win the Serie A again.
Whilst not even being at the halfway point of the season, Napoli have easily been the best team in the Serie A this season, and the table showcases that as they top the table currently, with a five-point lead over reigning champions AC Milan, despite losing their first league game of the season in the season’s resumption game away to Inter Milan.
Napoli’s Crucial Summer Transfer Window
What’s surprising about Napoli this season was that nobody was expecting them to compete right at the top of the table after the transfer window they had in the summer, losing Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Fabian Ruiz, who have not just been key players for a long time, but were the spine of their team and was a spine that almost won the title last season, finishing third, seven points off AC Milan and were just one point off the top with seven games to go.
Napoli spent £60 million on all their transfers in the summer to replace some legends of the club and now some of the individuals they bought could exceed that amount by themselves because of the performances they have put up this season.
To replace Koulibaly, they brought in Kim Min-Jae from Fenerbahce, who has been a revelation in defence and not just for his defending, which he excels at, but his ball-playing ability, as he is really comfortable with the ball at his feet.
In the Serie A he had the most touches of the ball out of any player in the league, completing the most passes in the league and it's not just sideways passing, as he has the highest progressive passing distance in the league for a player that isn’t a goalkeeper.
Losing Lorenzo Insigne was hard for Napoli fans as he had been such a great player for the club for a decade and became club captain, but his replacement, 21-year-old Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, soon made them forget as he has broke out this season into not just one of the best young players in Europe, but one of the best players in the world.
Kvaratskhelia came to Naples with a great reputation for his dribbling skills, but usually, these types of players are hit or miss with the end product, but Kvaratskhelia certainly has an end product, scoring eight goals and grabbing eight assists in 18 games in all competitions this season and it has translated to the Champions League as well, scoring twice and assisting three times in 5 games.
Kvaratskhelia has struck up a good connection with their big-money signing from a couple of years ago in Victor Osimhen, whose injuries last year led to them falling behind in the title race, and although he has had some injuries this season, he has been immense for Napoli scoring ten goals in 15 appearances and despite only starting 11 games in the Serie A this season, is the top scorer with nine goals, just showing the player Napoli have on their hands if he stays fit.
The Form Guide
Napoli were unbeaten in their first 17 games in all competitions this season, before losing to Liverpool at Anfield, which ended a run of 13 consecutive wins for Luciano Spalletti’s side, but at home, at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, they have a great record this season, playing 11 games, winning ten and drawing once with their victories at home including a 4-1 win over Liverpool and a 4-2 win over Ajax after beating them 6-1 away.
What might show that Napoli are the favourites to win the title as of now is their performances in the Champions League compared to the other Serie A sides, as they comfortably won their group before the final matchday, whereas Milan and Inter finished 2nd in their groups, whilst Juventus got demoted to the Europa League.
Napol have everything it takes to win the Serie A, they have quality players throughout the team to win them any given game, they work well as a unit, they can win the big games and they have shown they can be consistent in their performances in their 13 game winning run, which is a major quality needed in a title race and this new squad has shown they already have it in them.
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