• Our Opinion

Napoli are right not to devalue Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly, SSC Napoli
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The Senegalese international has been linked with a cut-price move to Liverpool but it looks unlikely given Napoli’s stance on the player. 

Maurizio Sarri started the revolution that made Napoli competitive in Serie A. For four long years, they were the only side giving Juventus a run for their money. 

Sarri left and his place was taken by Carlo Ancelotti. The former AC Milan and Chelsea coach ensured they took the title race to the wire. 

But the 2019/20 Serie A campaign did not go according to Ancelotti’s plans. He had too many first team players on the medic’s table and those who took their place did not offer much on the pitch. 

Aurelio De Laurentiis did not like the plunging performances.Napoli were giving assured performances that were only leading to draws and not wins. 

The infamous ritiro was enforced but to no avail. In the end, Ancelotti had to sacrifice and be replaced by his former charge, Gennaro Gattuso. 

While all this was going on, Kalidou Koulibaly and Arkadiusz Milik came back from injury and stabilized Napoli. Arkadiusz Milik’s goals have helped but it is Koulibaly’s presence at the back has helped the Partenopei move up the points table. 

When the coronavirus pandemic enforced Serie A break came into effect, the San Paolo based entity were sixth in Serie A rankings. Napoli need Kalidou Koulibaly for their assault on Italian top flight football. 

And just like past summers, the Senegalese defender has been linked with a move away. Liverpool have been seriously considering partnering him with Ballon d’Or runner up, Virgil van Dijk. It is an interesting matchup but the Reds will have to cough up €100 million. 

Expect intense negotiations

Napoli Sporting Director, Cristiano Giuntoli, came out and warned everyone about their intentions. The Blues will only get in discussions if their expectations are met. Otherwise, no deal will be reached. 

It is understandable why Giuntoli will say that. Napoli needs to raise funds and have been affected by the pandemic. They cannot get in the market to get players and have to retain those on their roster.  

And if someone whats their prized assets, they will have to cough up the sums. Letting players like Koulibaly go on the cheap will only impact them negatively. 

The €100 million touted for Kalidou shows why he is one of the top two defenders in the game. He shackled Liverpool’s defence in their Champions League meetings, while Cristiano Ronaldo has also been kept at bay. 

Kalidou Koulibaly will leave for a top team and if a top team wants a quality addition, they have to cough up the money. It makes sense for all parties involved.