How a Sensible Transfer Strategy Won Napoli the Scudetto
As with other teams in Serie A, Napoli made significant moves during the summer transfer window. But unlike its Italian rivals, it had to contend with losing key club icons through player departures and losses. Still, President Aurelio De Laurentiis and his team excelled at building competitive squads despite this setback.
Napoli has won the Serie A, improving upon the previous season’s third-place finish. Laurentiis and Luciano Spalletti managed to form another competitive side amidst this year’s unpredictable Serie A competition. But pundits saw it coming.
Selling and losing experienced players
Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens, legendary players for Napoli who rank at the top of its all-time scoring chart, represented significant losses. Kalidou Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz left for Chelsea and PSG, respectively, while longtime goalie David Ospina departed for Al-Nassr. Things looked bad for Napoli.
Clever transfer policy
Napoli outdid its rivals during the summer transfer window by signing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, 21, from Georgia as Insigne’s replacement and making an immediate impact. Kvaratskhelia scored one goal and set up another on his debut. He continued his remarkable play by scoring braces against Inter Milan, Roma, and Scudetto winners Juventus.
As Juventus signed Angel Di Maria, Paul Pogba, and Filip Kostic, fans and pundits grew dissatisfied with Napoli. Inter were quick to act too. Romelu Lukaku returned on loan from Chelsea while Henrikh Mkhitaryan made a splashy arrival too.
Reigning Scudetto winners AC Milan added Liverpool cult hero Divock Origi as well as promising young defender Charles de Ketelaere while Roma also made significant moves with Nemanja Matic joining Zeki Celik Georgino Wijnaldum and Paulo Dybala arriving as well.
In addition to Kvaratskhelia, Napoli also signed Giovanni Simeone, Tanguy Ndombele, and Giacomo Raspadori to replace the departing players. The club also signed two central defenders, Leo Ostigard and Min-Jae Kim, to fill the void left by Koulibaly.
Transfer policy for 2023/24
Napoli is likely to sell some players before 2023/24 season begins, with top scorer Victor Osimhen being an attractive target for potential offers. President De Laurentiis has demonstrated he can control the market well; therefore, if suitable replacement players exist, he could consider selling.
However, it would be foolish for Napoli to simply cash in on the success of the 2021/22 season. The Partenopei can build a legacy of success based on this campaign. For both players and the club, the rewards may be much more handsome if they stick together going forward.