Are Napoli finally Scudetto-bound? It sure looks like it
Neapolitans are dancing in the streets again, in a state of delirium, as their home club sits comfortably atop Serie A, 33 years since their last triumph courtesy of a certain Diego Armando Maradona.
Napoli and their fans are daring to dream as owner Aurelio de Laurentiis, a former film producer, has added a touch of Hollywood to a club famous for yo-yoing between the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
After 19 games they lead Milan by 12 points, playing a brand of football that is the envy of all of Europe. It is all the more remarkable given Napoli is renowned as a selling club, famously offloading their best players season after season, yet remaining competitive.
At the start of the season with a new coach, Luciano Spalletti, and shorn of four key players in Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, and David Ospina, many expected the men from Naples to struggle. Yet they did not skip a beat, playing the same attacking, high-octane football that has made them one of the most feared teams in Europe.
Kings of the transfer market
The club’s recruiting structures deserve the utmost praise in that they continuously reinvent themselves by finding cheaper replacements that flourish within their system. The current jewel in their crown is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, a Georgian winger who is arguably the best signing globally in the last 10 years. His impact has been nothing short of amazing as he terrorizes defenses with alarming regularity; the big clubs monitoring him closely, no doubt poised to swoop in for him.
Another notable addition was the Nigerian, Victor Osimhen, a lively striker who is scoring goals for fun and complements the Georgian perfectly. In Andre Frank Anguissa, Juan Jesus, and Kim Min-Jae, the club has found able replacements who have performed admirably on the biggest of stages.
Can Napoli carry the momentum?
The season is far from over, yet it will take a Herculean effort on the part of one of their competitors – or a meltdown of epic proportions – to derail this current Napoli team.
Their charge to the title is further enhanced by the patchy forms of both Milan teams and the Juventus – La Vecchia Signora – losing big in the courts once again, hit with a 15-point penalty for their transgressions.
It seems fate is conspiring with the Neapolitans as they go from strength to strength, in what could be the genesis of an amazing season. And don’t forget. They are flying high in the Champions League, too.
Could they dream the impossible dream? On their current form, don’t put it past them.