Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Robert Hay On April - 27 - 2013

Napoli Player Focus: Lorenzo Insigne

Despite establishing themselves as a mid-table team for 2012-2013, Cagliari last weekend came to Naples determined to give Napoli a game. The home team needed the full three points to firm up their chances at a guaranteed Champions League spot, and the result was an entertaining back-and-forth game that left viewers waiting until late in the game for a decision in this match.

While the commentators on BeIn Sport focused on the more high-profile Edinson Cavani, the winning goal was scored by young forward Lorenzo Insigne. The 21 year old scored the winning goal very late in stoppage time with a laser of a shot that rose over the defense and dipped below the bar.  YouTube goal highlight from Napoli 3-2 Cagliari

Quiet since coming in the 77th minute for Belrim Dzemaili, Insigne’s goal allowed Napoli to maintain their six point cushion ahead of third place Milan for a European spot.

Insigne is a highly regarded Italian youth player, although you would not know it based in his lack of consistent playing time. Before this year, the Naples native spent the past three seasons on loan to a number of lower level sides including Pescara in 2012-2013, where he was named Serie B player of the year. Probably one of the reasons for his success was his head coach Zdeněk Zeman, a man whose resume is pages long and who has been able to assist the rise of many Italian stars. Originally signed from under the nose of Inter Milan, Insigne’s height five feet four inches allowed him to fly under the radar while Napoli loaned him out to gain valuable experience.

Returning to Napoli to provide another option for the offense after the departed Ezequiel Lavezzi, this season proved to be less than fulfilling for the youngster as he started slightly less than half the total games while substituted in the remainder, scoring five goals.

However, both Napoli and the National ‘Azzurri’ teams have reason to want to see him succeed, as he is definitely an option for team Italia in the future. He has already featured once for the senior squad in Italy’s World Cup qualifying victory over Malta in 2012 (aka the Italian version of “Camp Cupcake”).

At 21, Insigne has some time to improve and secure his spot on the national team but the goal scored against Cagliari shows just how much young talent is sitting on Napoli’s bench. Teams have already seemingly inquired about the striker and, despite his agent’s statement affirming his desire to remain in his hometown, it’s easy to imagine larger clubs throwing some money at Insigne this summer.

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