Carlo Ancelotti claims Marek Hamsik could replace Jorginho in Napoli’s midfield after being officially unveiled as the club’s new Coach.
Ancelotti held his first training session as Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli successor on Tuesday, but the former Milan and Real Madrid boss already faces the loss of his deep-lying playmaker.
“What convinced me to accept Napoli’s offer? So many reasons,” he began.
“Napoli believe in me and my abilities. I also had the desire to find an interesting project, one that had the scope to grow.
“The objective is to compete on all fronts. Ronaldo? Italian football greatly benefits from his arrival. For us, it’s a great source of motivation.
"I admired Sarri’s style of play. The team have important qualities. The top players are the ones we think are best, not the ones who get paid the most.
“The team are strong. It’s not easy to improve this squad. Hamsik? We could play him in Jorginho’s position.
“We also have Diawara, who is young and will do well. Mertens can also play between the lines.
“Juventus? They’ll be a difficult team to face, but they will be along with Inter, Roma and the others.
“I’m here to win. We have big ambitions and motivations. Living in this city is stimulating. I chose to live in the city because Naples is a beautiful city for me.
“There’s a magnificent landscape [in Naples], and I’m living there willingly. The squad? I’d already received information on the players.
“The ones here are young and receptive, while the others are experts such as Callejon, Hamsik and Albiol.
“Mertens? He can play as a No 9, behind the striker and between the lines. It amazed me that he scored so many goals as a striker.
“The new arrivals? Meret’s a young talent, who is good technically. Karnezis has experience, Inglese did very well at Chievo and Fabian Ruiz is young and complete, although he doesn’t have the characteristics to play in front of the defence.
“Verdi? Like Mertens, he’s very good between the lines in the final third. Formation? We can play in different ways. Our first objective? To progress from our Champions League group.
“Growth of the team? It’s not a question of growth, the lads here have shown that they are ready. They’ve been at the top for several years. Our collective knowledge can only help.
“The 91 points of last season? Leagues can also be won with 85 points…
“Transfers? It was said that I’d talked to many players: Ronaldo, Benzema, Cavani, David Luiz... I didn’t talk to them.
“We’re looking for a right-back and we still have to assess Ghoulam, but I’m not worried about his condition. VAR? It’s a positive innovation.”