Spalletti finds Ghoulam, but time is almost up: the future is further and further away from Naples | First page

The performances against Juventus and Sampdoria had convinced, but yesterday Napoli took a step back in the Italian Cup against Fiorentina. A game that started wrong and got even worse. The justification of the many absences and last minute returns (therefore without training in the legs) is clearly valid, but weighs the collected five. Some happy notes, however, manage to come out equally, such as the pearl of Mertens, the good condition of Lozano (despite Covid and the expulsion) and the third game in a row played by Faouzi Ghoulam.

GHOULAM IS BACK – It seemed it was time for the bench for Ghoulam, but it did not. Juan Jesus could fill the role of left-back as he has already done several times this season and instead trust the Algerian. Ghoulam took the field from the first minute for the third game in a row. Something that hasn’t happened since December 2018 (under the guidance of Ancelotti), so over 3 years ago. The answer is positive who has been able to give in these challenges, managing to keep the field (which is not obvious given the myriad of heavy injuries over the years), growing explosiveness and above all proposing itself in the offensive phase with good consistency. Yesterday he proposed more than Di Lorenzo and arrived several times on the bottom to look for and find good crosses with the polite foot that has always distinguished him. Opportunities not exploited more than once by Elmas, Petagna and the other companions. But Ghoulam is there, he’s back and even if it’s not the devastating one of 2017, represents an important solution to alternate with Mario Rui between now and the end of the season.

THE FUTURE – But there is a contract expiring in a few months. Indeed Ghoulam is linked to Napoli until June 2022. There is no air of renewal, indeed, he is destined to say goodbye at the end of the season. His salary is 2.5 million, a figure that does not reflect what he managed to offer and the guarantees on physical condition. After eight and a half years he will probably say goodbye to a city that loved him, supported him and recognized his human value even before the technical one despite too many injuries. However, there are another five months ahead and we will try to make the most of it. Mario Rui is back after the positivity at Covid, the presence of Ghoulam could also act as a stimulus for a growth in Portuguese. One thing is certain: today there is an alternative in the role of left-back, Spalletti has found Faouzi Ghoulam.

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