Genoa chief Enrico Preziosi has explained why the club sold Napoli ace Ezequiel Lavezzi in the summer of 2005.
“Lavezzi already had good qualities back then,” the Marassi President explained in an interview with Il Mattino.
“He was pointed out to us and our staff in South America watched him. We signed the player in 2004, but allowed him to move on loan to San Lorenzo.
“He came back to Genoa a season later for our campaign in Serie A, he was presented to the media and then we were relegated to Serie C [as a result of match-fixing]…
“We also had Diego Milito in our squad and we couldn’t afford to keep any of them.”
Lavezzi is now a star in Naples, a club he joined in 2007 after San Lorenzo had signed him from Genoa for €1.2m.
“It was a real shame that we had to sell him,” Preziosi continued. “We would have been able to keep him here for two or three years.
“However, at that point we would have had to sell him and he probably would have ended up at a big club like Inter or Milan.
“Napoli made a great swoop. In all honesty, Lavezzi has grown more in these last five years than I would have expected. He can still improve.
“He’s a class player today, he’s made giant steps forward under all aspects of his game.”