Arsenal Transfer News: Why Lorenzo Insigne Won't Leave Napoli This Summer

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Arsenal Transfer News: Why Lorenzo Insigne Won't Leave Napoli This Summer
Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

Italian forward Lorenzo Insigne might be excited to be on Arsenal's radar with a potential transfer in mind, but don't expect the talented winger to leave current club Napoli any time soon.

Insigne's agent Antonio Ottaiano told Tuttomercadoweb (in Italian), via Goal.com's Chris Davie, his client was "honoured" by Arsenal's reported interest but immediately backed that statement by saying a transfer was unlikely at this point:

We take into account the praising reports that Wenger has given about the player.

We are honoured that a club like Arsenal could have Lorenzo on their wish list. However, from here to take it to the next level, that is a possible transfer, there is a huge mountain in between named Napoli.

The club consider him without a shadow of a doubt as one of their key players for their ambitious project.

Hence, as of today, I don’t see that there can be any further developments unless Arsenal speak to Napoli directly and Napoli change their view on Lorenzo’s role here.

Insigne has long been viewed as one of Italy's most promising youth products, and it's easy to see why. The diminutive winger combines great pace with excellent technical ability, and unlike most wingers, he's equally comfortable on the left wing as he is on the right.

Despite his small stature, he's quite strong on the ball, and over the years, he has learned to bring his centre of gravity down even further in order to gain an advantage over defenders.

Insigne was a part of Napoli's youth setup and had a hard time breaking into the senior team, leading to three consecutive years on loan at different clubs. At Pescara, Insigne finally blossomed into the star player everyone knew he could be, forming a deadly duo with future Borussia Dortmund forward Ciro Immobile.

His first season back with Napoli was filled with ups and downs, but in 2013-14, Insigne finally established himself as one of the Azzurri's primary options on the wing, keeping the talented Dries Mertens on the bench for Napoli more often that the latter would like.

Per WhoScored.com, Insigne scored six goals and recorded a further seven assists last season, but those numbers don't tell the whole story.

Napoli started the season on fire led by a fierce attack, and defences soon started to key in on the team's platoon of wingers.

One of Insigne's biggest contributions throughout the season was his ability to occupy players near the box, opening up running lanes for teammates. Gonzalo Higuain was one of the biggest benefactors of the Italian's success, often stealing the spotlight by being the man to put the ball in the net.

Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

Napoli's season ultimately didn't end with the Serie A title, but that wasn't a shocker. After all, the club had just sold star striker Edinson Cavani, and 2013-14 was supposed to be a transition campaign for one of Italy's youngest, most exciting teams.

Rafael Benitez and the club view Insigne as one of the players who will guide the club to new heights, and the winger's emergence was one of the reasons the club felt comfortable moving on Cavani.

Insigne himself had to wait for his chance to be an impact player at his boyhood club, and once the ball started rolling, he quickly became a fan favourite.

Via Darren Insigne, Fabio Cannavaro and Insigne himself tried putting into words what it means to be a proud Neapolitan:

Italy is a divided country, with the people from the richer north often clashing with people from the south.

Naples is the largest city in the southern part of the country, and Neapolitans are incredibly proud people. It's why the team's fans are capable of things like this:

It took Insigne years to break into the senior team of his boyhood club, and he's finally there. Napoli have a young, talented squad at a time when Serie A is relatively weak, with both Internazionale and AC Milan struggling.

The Partenopei won't be willing to sell one of their star players for a fee that isn't well above market value, and the fans won't appreciate the sale of "one of their own" either.

As for Insigne—he loves the club. While you can't predict how a player will react to a transfer offer, the chances of Insigne strong-arming Napoli into a move are very small.

Arsenal's interest in the player is flattering, and they're right to at least kick the tyres to see whether a move is a possibility.

But unless Arsenal are willing to overspend drastically, Insigne will be playing in Napoli's sky-blue kit in 2014-15.

 

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