The Curious Case of Amin Younes

Amin Younes. A name which, for all the wrong reasons, will now go down in infamy in the history of Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli. A man who, after making the journey to Naples with his entourage in tow to sign a 5 year deal, is now likely to be remembered as someone whose feet never touched Neapolitan soil ever since. A professional, whose behaviour, actions, and alleged words suggest a trouble maker in the making; a presence which should never be allowed to grace our close knit dressing room.

Just what the hell is going on here? In the last 24 to 48 hours of writing this, we’ve had alleged claims via Dutch outlet, De Telegraaf that the player claims he didn’t want to live in a ‘poor and impoverished’ city and even cited a meeting with local mafia as reasons why he couldn’t possibly move to Naples. This of course came swiftly on the back of claims, again attributed to the player, that he hadn’t even signed for Napoli, that Aurelio De Laurentiis’ claims of a contract already deposited with the league for the new season were simply not true.

This article sparked Napoli’s own lawyer, Mattia Grassani, into life as he went on Radio Marte to state that Younes was merely trying to find a means to get out of a contract he signed and that he was, “Insulting human intelligence.” Grassani also went on to say that, “Words that throw dirt on Napoli are words that can’t be commented on” and that, “In this regard, Napoli have no official position, but we condemn all of it. I’ve never heard of opinions such as those made by this man and the mayor could even take action against him.”

The players agent immediately hit back, claiming that his client had not only signed a 5 year deal, a deal which a week or so previously had been apparently denied by Younes’ camp, but that his client would report for pre-season training at Dimaro come the summer. This, as it seems, was just the latest in the long and now tiresome twists in the Amin Younes transfer debacle and, on the day I wrote this piece, reports surfaced that the player had in fact now agreed a 4 year deal with German side, Wolfsburg;

Having trouble keeping up? I don’t blame you.

Now, several comments made on social media toward myself when commenting on Younes’ antics have been along the lines of, “Maybe wait until the player himself says something” but that’s just the point; he never does. He has an official and verified Twitter page, so if he really wanted to quash this gossip he only needs to take to social media, now complete with 280 characters no less, and express himself to set the record straight.

The fact that he doesn’t do this, that he seems happy for his agent to be his mouthpiece and sit back while local newspapers in Holland spread lies about Naples and the reason Younes doesn’t want to join us, just screams ‘guilty’ to me. I’m a firm believer in the old saying, “There’s no smoke without fire” and the smoke is bellowing out of the Younes camp like Vesuvius itself in 1944.

Now, one other thing I want to clarify is that nothing about this piece is sour grapes on any part by myself or the team at Sempre! Let’s be honest, he’s a decent player, he’d have been a useful squad addition, but it’s not like we’re losing out on a real top tier talent. In fact, the cynic in me almost believes that Younes is using Napoli and this entire saga to put himself in the proverbial shop window; after all, his performances on the pitch certainly won’t do that, especially since being demoted to the reserves at Ajax for refusing point blank to come on as a substitute when asked.

Oh, I’m sorry, that’s another aspect of this character that I forgot to mention, and you may not have heard about it. If you have, I apologise, but allow me to confirm for those who haven’t heard about this act of woeful unprofessionalism. Ajax were comfortably leading against Heerenveen when Ajax manager, Erik ten Hag, told Younes to get stripped to come on. Younes, arrogantly, shrugged his shoulders and simply shook his head, refusing to budge from his comfortable, padded bench seat.

His actions didn’t’ go unpunished, as his manager quickly demoted him to the Ajax reserves for the remainder of the campaign, clearly a sign that Erik ten Hag was not prepared to let this trouble maker cause his side any further dressing room upset as they chase down PSV Eindhoven who lead Ajax by 7 points in the Eriedivisie.

Since Younes arrived in Naples he has gone from signing immediately for €5m to going AWOL, turning up in Holland 24 hours later, announcing he would now sign in the summer for free, to stating he’d rather stay in Holland, to citing a family emergency, to saying he hasn’t signed at all, to allegedly slandering the city of Naples, and now apparently signing for Wolfsburg. I mean, have you ever heard a more ridiculous transfer story?

Now, as I said earlier, this is all allegedly because, at the end of the day none of this has actually come direct from Younes, but that again begs the question? Why not go public via social media or to a trusted Neapolitan news outlet to set the record straight? It would take literally minutes from his schedule, and lets be honest he’s not preparing for any matches with the Ajax first team so time is something I can only assume he has plenty of.

If it is true that he found Naples to be, ‘impoverished and poor’ then I will simply repeat what I said earlier in the week via my Twitter account. This to me, if true, reeks of someone who is choosing to amplify the very worst of a city in order to create a distraction and situation that does not exist in an attempt at getting out of a legally binding contract.

And, as I also said on my Twitter page, I find this utterly insulting if true because the simple fact remains that every major city in the world has it’s good and bad areas. That’s a fact, no city is perfect. For every picturesque postcard photo there’s a back street or housing scheme that you wouldn’t dare wander into in the dark of night, even as a local; this apples to Naples as much as it does to Glasgow, New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Turin, you name it.

No, the big cities of the world are more than just the images you see in travel brochures and you’d need to be incredibly naive to believe otherwise, but in the case of Younes it appears to be true. I joked with the Sempre! boys that a photo of Younes walking around the moat which surrounds the San Paolo pitch showed a man who’s facial expression was that of a man none too impressed with what he seen. That, ironically, appears to be exactly the case.

At the end of the day, Wolfsburg are welcome to Amin Younes if he has indeed struck a deal with them. His handling of this entire transfer is hardly befitting of a professional and his refusal to come off the bench when instructed by his manager is also extremely worrying. It’s the kind of character that we don’t need at the club, who should be told, if he has in fact signed for us, to stay away from Dimaro before his toxic influence can be felt in our dressing room.

I have a feeling, and I may well be wrong, that Younes is a player who will flitter from club to club, causing trouble and unrest wherever he goes before finally, when he retires from the game, looking back and wondering, “What if”.

So yes, while certain people will claim we should wait for Younes himself to say something, I think the actions we have seen, the evidence of his character which we’ve witnessed with our own eyes, are ample enough to make a decision that Napoli are better off without this player and person at our club.

A curious individual, but one we are well and truly better off without.

By James McGhie 

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