NEWS
Sunday June 14 2020
Koulibaly: 'Mertens became a killer'

Kalidou Koulibaly praises teammate Dries Mertens for becoming the all-time Napoli top scorer with 122 goals. ‘He became a real killer upfront.’

The Belgian surpassed Marek Hamsik thanks to last night’s 1-1 Coppa Italia semi-final draw with Inter.

“I’ve been with him from our first days at Napoli, he used to come pick me up from home as we drove to training at Castel Volturno,” Koulibaly told Sky Sport Italia.

“We had so many laughs in those journeys between Naples and the training ground. His father even spoke to me during my first year there and said he really believed in me, that I should never give up. You can tell Dries grew up in a happy and supportive family.

“I wish him all the best in the world, because he really does deserve it.”

Mertens is now the all-time top scorer in Napoli’s history, but most of those goals came in recent years after he was transformed from winger into centre-forward under Maurizio Sarri.

“He improved so much, he became a real killer upfront,” continued Koulibaly.

“Much like Gonzalo Higuain, he knows how to do everything and is a truly important player for this squad. I am so proud to be able to play alongside him.”

Mertens scored 34 competitive goals in his first three seasons for Napoli, but the breakthrough saw him net 34 in the 2016-17 campaign.

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