Spanish winger Callejon has been linked with a switch back to his homeland repeatedly since the turn of the year, with Atletico Madrid and Valencia mentioned as potential suitors.
It was his 2013 arrival in Serie A which truly ignited his career, following spells with Espanyol and Real Madrid, with compatriot Rafa Benitez placing faith in the pacy forward to the tune of around €10 million.
He’d been a solid enough performer within La Liga, but seldom sparkled. That situation changed dramatically at San Paolo and he began displaying an impressive array of dribbling skills, devastating movement and creative passing.
The Madrid-born star hit double figures on the scoring charts for the first time in his career with 20 in all competitions – 15 of which were notched in the League – as Napoli lifted the Coppa Italia and finished third in Serie A.
Unfortunately, his form dipped alarmingly as an apparent ‘second-season syndrome’ took hold following a stunning start, which saw Callejon plunder eight goals in the club’s first 10 Serie A fixtures of this term.
That impression is backed up by figures which highlight only one strike converted by the Spaniard in the 31 appearances he made following victory over Roma on November 1.
Rumours of a spat with Benitez were denied back by the Coach himself back in February, while speculation has been rife over the 28-year-old’s supposed hankering for an emotional return Madrid with Atletico this summer.
All of the above seemingly unsettled the two-cap international and subsequently contributed to a downturn that became particularly evident throughout the three-month period from mid-January onwards.
However, he has bounced back to his best during the Partenopei’s last three outings in which they’ve recorded successive victories by a three-goal margin.
Callejon tapped home the final nail in Fiorentina’s coffin after good work by Lorenzo Insigne in a resounding 3-0 triumph on April 12, prior to playing his part in an astounding 4-1 thrashing of Wolfsburg in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie. The right-sided attacker was on target again when finishing a wonderful Marek Hamsik through-ball with aplomb to set the Azzurri on their way to another 3-0 win against struggling Cagliari.
It’s difficult to predict what the future holds for the former Real man, but a contract running until 2018 means his current club hold the cards in this case.
It may be that he wants another chance to finally prove himself on home turf and could actively pursue such a move.
On the other hand, he might well decide upon sticking around should he receive assurances that more investment will be made in the Napoli squad, with the hope of becoming serious title challengers.
There are myriad unanswered questions which will undoubtedly become clearer by the season’s end, but tying Callejon down for the long-term should be near the very top of the Neapolitan club’s priority list, behind the subject of their Coach’s equally precarious situation.