The winter transfer window is a very exciting time of the year. Stars cause a stir as they abandon their clubs at a crucial point of the season, Twitter users engage in an all-out war, debating the most suitable candidates for their side (as if they have any say) and the media sends us on a roller-coaster of exciting and downright absurd transfer rumours, of which 99.9% are false.
Napoli have been fortunate to see some of our biggest stars enter in the January transfer window, so before we take a look at the heroes and flops of the 17/18 winter window, let’s look at what the last 5 years have brought us and assess just how well we may, or may not, go this January.
Walter Mazzari’s final January transfer window was a rather uneventful one, bringing in a selection of loanees deepen the squad in his final half-season and see out the rest of a rather successful season. Emanuele Calaiò, Pablo Armero, Josip Radosevic and the Portuguese centre-back Rolando were brought in to varying degrees of success.
Emmanuele Calaio – 200k Loan(with 1.25mil obligation to buy) – From AC Siena
Calaio received a hero’s welcome in Napoli after the success of his initial spell with the club from 2005-2008, winning us promotion to both the Serie B and A, and coming off the back of another rather successful spell with Spezia. He played 6 games during the second half of the season, however did not feature at all the following season after going out on loan to Genoa.
Pablo Armero – 1 Million loan(with 4mil obligation to buy) – From Udinese
Armero played a reasonable number of games for the club, and was initially thought to be a significant bolster to the fullback position. However, Armero was loaned out to West Ham the following season and eventually sold on.
Rolando – Loan from Porto
Rolando came to Napoli as more of a refugee after being ostracized by Porto manager Vitor Pereira. Ronaldo, though, still only played 7 games during his time for the Partenopei.
Josip Radosevic – 2 Million loan(with 1mill obligation to buy) – From Hajduk Split
Finally Radosevic was a promising defensive midfielder brought in from Croatia’s Hadjuk Split, but only played 9 games in 3 years before wandering around Europe on loan before finding his way back to Hadjuk Split, where he’s once again found form. Whilst not owned by Napoli any longer, it is wonderful to see him find some form and, whilst still only 23, may have still find a way to have a reasonably successful career.
Benitez’s first season saw some very familiar faces enter the club, bringing in current fan favourites Jorginho and Ghoulam, both of whom have gone on (under Sarri’s guidance of course) have become some of the best players the league has to offer, if not the entirety of Europe.
Jorginho – 9.5 Million – Hellas Verona
Jorginho, during Benitez’s reign, was relegated to the bench and didn’t take even the slightest step into the spotlight until the Sarri era began.
But What a signing he has become. He is one of the most important players in Napoli’s current set-up, and is an absolute gem of a signing looking back.
Faouzi Ghoulam – 5 Million – Saint Ettiene
Ghoulam, however, featured prominently in Benitez’s side as the club shifted from a 3 defender to 4 defender formation.
Sarri has evolved Ghoulam into one of Europe’s premier left-backs, and at 5 million Euros, has become an unbelievable bargain.
Henrique – 4 Million – Palmeiras
He also brought in the Brazillian Henrique from Palmeiras. The former Barcelona player was a bit of a disappointment. Other scoring a very memorable goal in the Europa league, is remembered mainly for as a substitute in the side.
Stay tuned as we will go over 14/15-17/18 later this month.
By Cristian SperanzaFollow @spero1926