Gokhan Inler has reflected on a possible new role for Napoli next term, but played down comparisons with Andrea Pirlo.
With Napoli experimenting in their first week of pre-season with a new 3-5-1-1 formation, reports have listed Inler as based centrally in front of the defence, leading to comparisons with Pirlo, who takes up the same position for Juventus in a similar system.
However, reflecting on the introduction of this change of shape, Inler has suggested that his role will be different in character to Pirlo’s.
“We are working with this new system of playing and will need time to assimilate the movements, even though I already know it, having seen it implemented in Udine with excellent results.
“The comparison with Pirlo? I am different, even though I love the way he plays. For me it is important to offer security for the team.
“When you have a regista playing in front of the defence it is not an easy role. It puts you under a lot of pressure because if you lose the ball then there will be trouble.”
The Swiss midfielder moved on to where he sees improvement at Napoli is needed.
“Last year at times I did struggle because there were too many games. It was not easy to play every three days. As a team we can improve even more on a defensive level, we must have the mentality to stay short on the pitch so as to suffer less.
“And then, personally, I’d like to score some more goals.
“We have grown immensely and we are a healthy group, motivated, with everyone wants to give everything.
“Eventually, we’ll see the results from this. The boss is very animated, he wants us to do great things and well. We want to improve our positioning in the League but we cannot underestimate the Europa League, which will also be important to us.”
Before the League or the return to Europe comes the Supercoppa Italiana against Juventus in August.
“For us it matters a lot, but it will a very difficult game. We’re already preparing for it and we will do our utmost to bring it home, also because it will be our first time in China, which is an important stage.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.