Playing as a forward against AS Roma, Dries Mertens was the best player on the night, managing to score twice and bring his tally to 100 goals in Serie A.
It’s been quite a career leap since joining the Italian competition for the talented Belgium footballer. If his previous tenures in Holland, playing for clubs like Utrecht and PSV Eindhoven, had seen him score rarely, Mertens has become of the finest goalscorers in Europa since joining Napoli in 2013.
His transfer cost the Partenopei side €9.5 million at the time. Mertens was the first transfer made by manager Rafael Benitez. He was, initially, to be played in a midfielder role.
However, it was a run of injuries and a lack of efficient attackers, which made Benitez move Belgium into a more advanced position. He has thrived in a more attacking role, even going on to win the Capocannoniere award, the top scorer in Serie A, in 2017. Furthermore, Mertens has often played in a similar position for the Belgium national team, one of the finest sides in the world.
It’s been a challenging 2020/21 season for Mertens who has been forced out of contention with ankle injuries for ample parts of the campaign.
His recent recover, however, has greatly increased Napoli’s potential. Nowhere was this more evident than in tonight’s match against AS Roma, one of the Gli Azzurri’s biggest Serie A rivals.
Mertens scored a brace, brought Napoli three important points, and celebrates 100 goals scored in Serie A. These are certainly impressive stats from one of the finest players in the Italian league.