Friday January 24 2014
Mertens ‘in love with Napoli’

Dries Mertens is convinced in his choice to have signed for Napoli in the summer: “We can achieve great things.”

The Belgian international joined the Vesuviani last summer from PSV Eindhoven and remains enthusiastic for the future.

“I made the right choice to come to Napoli, I have fallen in love with the city,” Mertens has told the Corriere del Mezzogiorno.

“I caught the enthusiasm of the fans, I spoke with Rafa Benitez and I decided to come here. With this club we can do great things.

“I was already used to playing at a high level, but Benitez’s style is a little different and in the first half of the season I played little.

“In the Netherlands we played with more possession, 80 per cent, here it is more vertical and more frequently. I really like it.

“At the beginning, it was not easy, it was hard to understand your language. I speak a little Italian now, but I prefer to do interviews in English. I’m studying though.

 “My favourite position? I like to play anywhere, whilst I see more of the ball in the middle.”

Mertens was asked of Napoli’s title hopes, as they sit 12 points behind Juventus.

“Juventus are far away. The real reason is that we are all new and we are growing together. We have had many errors up to this stage which have been physiological, such as against Bologna. With the extra man, we cannot suffer for a 2-2 result in that way.

“The Champions League elimination? When we went out I wanted to cry, it is unthinkable to go out with 12 points after beating Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.

“We will look to honour the Europa League.”