4 Players Who Don't Deserve a Place in Napoli's Starting XI Right Now
Everyone knows you have to rotate the squad occasionally, but there's a difference between who your starters are and who you're rotating in to give someone a break.
Napoli have found themselves struggling in large part due to who manager Walter Mazzarri selects. Some players have just been struggling a bit, others have simply proven they're not up for the job.
Here are a few guys Mazzarri should avoid in high-profile games the rest of this year.
1. Giandomenico Mesto
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This isn't a mind-blowing observation, but it needs to be noted. Giandomenico Mesto has no place on Napoli's first team.
Why Mazzarri selected Mesto over Christian Maggio Monday is difficult to fathom. If it was to rest him since his injury remains in recent memory, why not sit Maggio against Viktoria Plzen last Thursday and start him in a meaningful game like against Udinese?
Whatever the reason for Maggio's absence from the starting lineup Monday, Mesto better not become a trending starter for Napoli if they want to challenge Juventus for the Scudetto this season. Especially when Juan Zuñiga was left on the bench on Monday as well.
2. Blerim Dzemaili
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Blerim Dzemaili is an easy name to skip when choosing starters before a high-profile match. He has nine Serie A starts this season and that seems a little high.
Yes. rotating the squad is important, but nine starts? Seems a little too high. Especially after the addition of Pablo Armero. Armero or Zuñiga are much better options for the midfield after the likes of Maggio, Gokhan Inler, Marek Hamsik and Valon Behrami.
It's not a situation where Dzemaili has been especially bad, there are just much better options to start for Napoli.
3. Goran Pandev
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Goran Pandev isn't necessarily bad, there are just two better strikers on the squad. Edinson Cavani and Lorenzo Insigne are far superior and have proven as much all season.
Insigne provides a much-needed spark for superstar Cavani, and compliments him well up front. Pandev has looked lost in his appearances this season and has really struggled to not only get a quality touch on his shots, but also when attempting to set up his fellow teammates.
For you numbers guys, Pandev only has two goals and three assists in 16 starts in Serie A. It should be abundantly clear to Mazzarri for the rest of the season who his first two choices are up front.
4. Morgan De Sanctis
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Yes, there are no other alternatives right now, and that's part of the reason he's on this list. It was shocking when January came and went and there was not even a whisper of attempting to add a younger keeper to the ranks to back up Morgan De Sanctis.
He's 35 years old and has looked shaky at best this season. You have to have someone capable should he break down, and if there are some De Sanctis apologists out there, just look back and check out his performance against Fiorentina if you need more evidence of his issues.
It's high time to get another man between the pipes. However, problem for Napoli is that they don't have anyone else right now. Hopefully this Summer they can add a strong young keeper.
Who do you think has no place in Napoli's starting XI? Leave your opinions below!