Thursday January 5 2017
Tonelli due Napoli debut 'by default'

Lorenzo Tonelli’s father hopes he’ll finally get his Napoli debut on Saturday against Sampdoria, but “only because everyone else is out.”

The former Empoli defender still hasn’t featured in a Napoli jersey since making the move in July.

“His debut is incoming, but it’s more out of necessity than to his credit,” Pietro Tonelli told

“Everyone else is injured or suspended or at the Africa Cup of Nations. I want to point out that nobody has told me he’ll play on Saturday, nor have they told Lorenzo, but I think he’ll certainly play because everyone else is out.

“Raul Albiol is suspended, Kalidou Koulibaly is in Africa and Vlad Chiriches has a muscular problem.

“His wife told me that he was training very hard indeed and that too leads me to believe he will play this weekend. I imagine he’s worried enough as it is without me piling on more pressure. I know he cares very much and wants to do well.”

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