Could Napoli be a surprise contender for the Scudetto?
With Rino Gattuso at the helm, the Partenopei have put together a squad worthy of a title tilt. Furthermore, now with strength in numbers, they are in a very good position to crack the top four.
Could Gattuso achieve what Maurizio Sarri and Carlo Ancelotti couldn't? Bring a title back to Naples for the first time since the era of Diego Armando Maradona?
Napoli: The season so far
Napoli have been a little inconsistent in the opening rounds of the season. They scored eight goals in their opening two games, including a 6-0 demolition job of Genoa, but then lost at home to Sassuolo.
Their failure to fulfil their away fixture against Juventus resulted in a 3-0 loss for Gattuso's men. The club appealed the decision, which was rejected. However you get the feeling this won't be the last we'll hear about that particular game.
Napoli have an abundance of talent in forward positions, which has seen eight different players score already this term.
Inter summer moves in
|Andrea Petagna||SPAL||Loan Return|
|Amir Rrahmani||Verona||Loan Return|
Inter summer moves out
|Amin Younes||Eintracht Frankfurt||Loan|
Boss Gattuso has a wealth of options throughout the Napoli squad, and are well placed to fight on three fronts this season.
Marquee signing Victor Osimhen from Lille almost went under the radar heading into the season, despite the player costing €80m. The Nigerian however announced himself with some stellar performances in the opening few games, causing havoc with his pace and aerial presence.
Hirving Lozano has found a new lease of life after a difficult first season, and Matteo Politano is now starting to make key contributions following a January move from Inter.
Defensively, the club held on to star player Kalidou Koulibaly for another summer, and Gattuso will hope he forms a strong partnership with Kostas Manolas this season. Despite the departure of Allan, Tiémoué Bakayoko will add a physical presence to an otherwise technically gifted midfield.
Not many tipped Napoli for a top four finish before the start of the season, however they've quietly climbed into the top three, and it's difficult to see them falling out of the Champions League places.
Gattuso's 4-2-3-1 system suits his players, and the strength in the squad means he can always freshen things up should he need to in the latter stages of games.
Napoli: Grade B-
You really get the impression that there is so much more to come from this team. The talent is there, in abundance, it will just take time for Gattuso to fine tune several issues.
Osimhen has only scored twice in seven goals, despite his overall contribution to the side. Once the 21-year-old gets into his stride, it's difficult to see many teams stopping him.
A deep run in the Europa League wouldn't also be out of the question. However you suspect that making sure of a top four finish is Gattuso's chief objective for this season.