Walter Mazzarri has today spoken about Napoli’s transfer strategy, a change in formation and his plans to integrate the youngsters.
With pre-season under way, Mazzarri took questions from the assembled Press this afternoon, with the first point on the agenda being a discussion on what is needed to make the team competitive.
“At a general level these past three years, Napoli have always been competitive. You have to understand the intention,” replied Mazzarri at the conference from the club’s ritiro base of Dimaro.
“I believe that when a team is appreciated by its public, plays a nice style and manages to win points, I think that this is already a success.
“Then, you can always do more, especially if you take numerical calculations and the classification into account, you can always improve.
“We must make targeted purchases in the market, few, but of quality, if you are talking about reinforcements. The directors already have my ideas.
“All this is then conjugated to other situations. We want clarity in respect of our fans, it is necessary that things are communicated clearly. I think that any idea the club has must be respected.”
Napoli have sold Ezequiel Lavezzi to Paris Saint-Germain this summer, but the Coach takes energy from Goran Pandev’s confirmation at the club.
“Lavezzi was an important player in my three years here. He has grown a lot and was sold for a substantial figure, he is a champion now set in stone.
“Last year we were very good as a group and Goran Pandev returned to a level we had not seen him at for a few seasons, when he had been under par.
“Now he has undisputed quality and I have a lot of expectations for this year for him as part of an attach with Cavani and Hamsik, who can give optimum guarantees.
“I expect a great deal from Pandev this year, he must reach his best and maintain it all year.”
Mazzarri was asked if he would also be looking to youngster Eduardo Vargas and Lorenzo Insigne next season in the senior set-up.
“I have always trained young people, who have then exploded. I value youngsters, they are important and are a part of the satisfaction of being a Coach.
“But, we need to now see if they are ready to stand up, as is being called for in Naples, and contribute in Serie A at the highest level.
“This has to be proven. Potentially they may have important qualities, if they are ready to handle the big time then this is the time to tell us.
“Insigne and Vargas are two unknowns - we will all help them to take an important step in their career.
“Insigne grew up here and I gave him his debut in Serie A. Then, he did well in Serie C, ascended to B and has also been good.
“Now it is the final step - to prove that he is also good in Serie A, even just in the League rather than at the highest level for Napoli.
“This is a big step - doing the things he did for Pescara are on thing, doing those same things at the summit in Serie A is something else. Insigne has to grow and we must help him.”
Mazzarri was heavily criticised last term for a tactical inflexibility and so revealed that a new formation is currently in the works.
“We are trying a new shape, the 3-5-1-1, which is more popular in the League. Juventus have won the championship this year in it.
“I want to change formation even during games, in the break between the first and second halves.”