Goran Pandev Has Been Napoli's Least Effective Player This Season

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Goran Pandev Has Been Napoli's Least Effective Player This Season
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Yes, he scored in Napoli's first win in well over a month. Yes, that goal proved to be the game-winner.

But here are some other affirmatives about Mr. Pandev: he's overpaid, he's done more harm than good this year for Napoli and he must be sold as soon as possible.

First is the issue of his salary. It's a three-year contract worth £6.4 million. This is too much money for a man who, in 24 Serie A appearances this season, only has three goals and four assists.

With the likes of Edinson Cavani working opposite Pandev, there's just no excuse for such poor production.

Pandev's lack of production allows opposing defenses to focus solely on Cavani and has also allowed young Lorenzo Insigne to get some opportunities as a starter this season.

Though it seems clear Insigne needs another year or two to fully start to realize his potential, at 21 years old he's already a better option up front than Pandev for Napoli.

Pandev's last goal for Napoli, before he broke the drought Sunday, was on Oct. 7 in a win against Udinese.

That's six months.

Six months since a man who makes £6.4 million scored a goal. That wouldn't be half bad if he was a defender, but he's a forward.

As a result, if Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis is looking to watch his wallet this summer, he'd do well to free up some cash by getting rid of the Macedonian. For that much money, and at 29 years old, he needs to be doing much better. 

There's no reason for De Laurentiis to delude himself and the Partenopei faithful into believing they're set up front. This is a serious need. Had Napoli made a solid addition up front in January, they certainly wouldn't be in the situation they're in right now. 

The scudetto is out of reach, and a shot at the Champions League next season hangs on the edge of a razor. Plain and simple, Napoli must make their result against Atalanta Sunday the first of many three-point results they achieve between now and the end of the season. 

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