Things have been looking great for Napoli as of late, and coming off of a 7-1 beat down on Bologna, fans of the Partenopei should be optimistic looking into the future.
One aspect of the Napoli squad the club and fans alike should be ecstatic about is their youth. With the recent signings of Brazilian 18-year-old striker Leandrinho and 17-year-old Italian winger Alessio Zerbin, the influx of talent for the Napoli is abundant.
Teenager Leandrinho first opened European teams eyes to his great potential at the South American Under 17’s Cup where he netted 11 goals in 16 games in great style. Prolific goal scoring performances lead to Brazil winning the trophy and the teenager was undoubtedly one of the top players in the tournament. His exploits boasted great potential and promise, attracting the eyes of huge European clubs.
His exit from former club Ponte Preta was not graceful, with financial director Gustavo Valio stating that he refused to play on the pitch with the team. Quick to capitalize on the situation, an estimated 600,000 euros was all it took for Napoli to snap up Leandrinho who was courted by European giants Real Madrid and Manchester City. Azzurro was his colour of choice.
When Leandrinho visited Naples, he fell in love with the city, and that love is what persuaded him to sign for the Serie A title contenders. A new star in the Napoli youth academy, Leandrinho has already settled in nicely, netting a goal in Primavera A. The Neapolitan culture and lifestyle will hopefully cultivate Leandrinho into one of the next great Brazilian players, and he has the assets and talents to do so.
Another signing that SSC Napoli seemed to receive at a bargain was Italian winger Alessio Zerbin. Although Zerbin is not as well known as Leandrinho, his recent play has solidified him amongst the top ten Italian youth talents. At just 17 years of age, Zerbin first signed with the Inter Milan youth club in July of 2013, and from there he has moved about Italy’s esteemed academies, including Novara Jugend, Suno, and Gozzano.
Napoli seemed to land themselves another bargain with the Class of 99′ attacker, coming at a meager transfer fee of 200,000 euros. Although Zerbin is on Napoli’s youth Primavera squad, the club plans on loaning him out to Serie B squad Carpi so he may cultivate his talent and potential, whereas Leandrinho as of now will play remain with the youth squad.
As we’ve seen in recent years, investing in Italian youth is becoming the norm amongst the top clubs. By securing two gifted youngsters for the future, supporters should feel optimistic about the direction of their beloved Azzurri.