Simone Verdi finally made his long awaited move to Napoli official yesterday, a transfer that will see the Italian winger join the Partenopei on a 5-year deal worth €1.8 million a year.
The club officially announced the signing on Twitter with a video captioned “50 Shades of Verdi.”
— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) June 11, 2018
After receiving a ‘no’ from Verdi during the January transfer window, Napoli finally got the man they have wanted all along to bolster the attack. Let’s take a look at what Simone Verdi brings to the Partenopei.
Verdi’s dribbling capabilities will be a welcome addition to Napoli’s starting eleven. With Jose Callejon, Napoli have an engine, but with Verdi they will have a player that can create space to open up opportunities for himself and his teammates.
Most of Napoli’s chances were created from the left side of the field, where Lorenzo Insigne would take players on and either whip in a cross or have a shot on goal himself. Bringing Verdi into the mix now gives Napoli that same option on the right side of the field, where Simone will do more of the same. The added creativity will help Napoli to score more goals and make it more difficult for their opponents to adapt to their play.
Danger on Set Pieces
Verdi’s weak foot, or lack thereof, makes him dangerous on set pieces.
The 25-year old scored off of free kicks with both feet and his delivery on crosses will have Kalidou Koulibaly and Raul Albiol salivating. While Napoli have improved their goal scoring ability on corners, an out-and-out free kick taker is something they’ve lacked. Dries Mertens and Insigne do find success from time to time, but Verdi offers a more consistent threat from dead ball opportunities.
Verdi can play anywhere across the frontline, and with a manager who will actually rotate, this will be beneficial. If Carlo Ancelotti opts to change formations, then Verdi’s versatility will allow him to fill in either at striker or in the #10 role. Also, Verdi’s versatility makes it to where players won’t have to be forced into playing out of position.
For example, last season Polish star Piotr Zieliński would often go on for Insigne as there wasn’t another left-winger on the bench. While he wasn’t bad, that isn’t his natural position. Having Verdi gives Ancelotti the ability to keep the 24-year old Pole in his strongest position and have the Milan youth product drift out left to relieve Insigne while Callejon fills in on the right.
Simone Verdi is Napoli’s first signing this transfer window, and he will be the first player to wear the #9 since Gonzalo Higuaín’s departure two years ago. But the former Bologna attacker has been waiting for this big move for a while now, so expect him to hit the ground running.