Wednesday July 22 2015
Allan signing a real steal

The arrival of highly-rated Udinese midfielder Allan proves Napoli can still mix it with the best in the transfer market, says David Lee Wheatley.

Allan turned up at the Dimaro training camp in the early hours of Tuesday morning ahead of a medical that finally confirmed his long-awaited switch.

Napoli pair Miguel Britos and Duvan Zapata will head in the opposite direction as part of the deal, with Britos expected to move on immediately to fellow Pozzo-family owned club Watford in the English Premier League.

Zapata, meanwhile, will begin a two-year loan with the Zebrette, as he seeks regular playing time following a season largely spent coming off the bench.

Securing the signature of the 24-year-old Brazilian is a real coup for the Partenopei, especially considering the reported interest from other top clubs including Chelsea. He also holds the potential to achieve significant sell-on value, should his development continue apace.

The diminutive operator produced a series of excellent displays for the Zebrette throughout last term, as stand-out performances against the likes of Juventus and Inter in the second half of the campaign showcased his abundant talent.

Almost certainly an upgrade on the departed Walter Gargano, Allan’s statistics also appear favourable in relation to the number of assists, key passes, tackles won and successful take-ons completed during 2014-15 when compared with Spaniard David Lopez, who will be a direct competitor for a spot in the side.

Coach Maurizio Sarri usually employed a 4-3-1-2 formation with Empoli, but has been alternating between that set-up and a 4-3-3 in his pre-season preparations thus far.

Rio-born Allan is likely to fulfil a role on the right-hand side of midfield in either case, alongside another exciting recruit Mirko Valdifiori on his inside, who may well find himself freed up to break into the final third on regular intervals thanks to the former Vasco da Gama star’s tigerish style.

Sarri’s burgeoning options in the middle of the park affords an increased dynamism after those two additions, while competition for places will be fiercely contested in that area of the field, which can only be good news for the overall squad.

Captain Marek Hamsik and winger Dries Mertens have remarked that they’re being worked harder than ever before – both technically and physically – by the new boss in Dimaro, which bodes well for the energetic tempo which will be introduced next season.

Allan and Valdifiori fit that tactical blueprint perfectly, and both players also represent the level of quality needed in order to ensure Napoli’s success for the foreseeable future, yet it’s only the very beginning of a rebuilding project that’s just kicking into action.

Many more of their ilk will be required by the Azzurri before the campaign gets underway in August, but they will hope their latest transfer breakthrough heralds a flurry of activity over the next few weeks.

image via @sscnapoli

Have your say...
As a juventus fan, I think that if napoli can buy 1 or 2 good central defenders they will be the main challengers to juventus next season. Everyone is talking about inter and roma because of their huge transfer activity but napoli are recruting smart. Pepe reina is an upgrade in goal, valdifiori was what missing last year aka a creator, allan is amazing and will help a lot, their attack is already excellent and Sarri is a tactical genius. Mark my words they will challenge for top 2. Forza Juve!
on the 24th July, 2015 at 9:34am
Allan is probably Napoli`s best signing, most of Internazionale supporters wanted Allan for the midfield, but there is already Medel... Good luck Allan!
on the 23rd July, 2015 at 6:31pm
Allan is a great great signing for Napoli, a real coup in every sense of word.
Opta reported him having the highest ball won stats of in all top 5 european leagues last season.
Napoli attack & everything behind them seemed disconnected & worlds apart for past many seasons, with addition of Allan, Valdifiori, Astori & rumours of Vrsajlko & Bartra, etc that glaring gap is being bridged & i hope Napoli look more of a unit team rather than just brilliant individuals.
on the 23rd July, 2015 at 10:08am
ADL has for the most part always been able to get quality players and this Napoli certainly is shaping up to be a major title contender along with Juve, Roma and Lazio but question marks are still hanging over Napoli's defense and how ADL approaches those issues will ultimately determine weather Napoli can mount a serious title challenge.
on the 23rd July, 2015 at 12:08am
Great signing for Napoli. ADL needs to relax his new policy on Italians only and Allan is a step in the right direction.
on the 22nd July, 2015 at 7:09pm
If only ADL hadn't wimped out at the last minute for Gonalons last summer. Imagine a midfield 3 of Gonalons, Hamsik, and Allan.
on the 22nd July, 2015 at 4:30pm
Nice to read a bit more positivity about Napoli. Reina/Valdifiori/Allan/Gabriel are excellent buys. Astori is a good buy but they still need to fill that central defence with another new purchase - and a backup for Higuain. Napoli have the best attack in the league. Only the goals conceded cost them a 2nd spot. I think 2nd is possible, but the league is tightening up for everyone - and will further tighten up - difficult for everyone to file into that top 3.
on the 22nd July, 2015 at 4:00pm

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