FIFA 20: Napoli player ratings predictions
How will Napoli look next season? Koulibaily & Insigne are still set to be among the best players in the game.
The odds were stacked against Napoli at the start of the 2018/2019 campaign for several reasons. Firstly, having finished the previous season with a staggering 91 points, but still missing out on the Scudetto to Juventus, they lost their manager, Maurizio Sarri, whose “Sarri-ball” had become synonymous with the team.
Although Carlo Ancelotti was hardly an underwhelming replacement, their chances of another title challenge were damaged by Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival in Turin. Their luck was also out in Europe, having been drawn in the “group of death” with Liverpool and PSG.
Still, Napoli delivered a promising first season under Ancelotti. Although they finished 11 points off Juventus, they were still comfortably in second place, and they were unlucky to finish third in their Champions League group.
In the wake of Massimiliano Allegri’s departure from Juventus, this year’s Serie A promises to be more open, especially as it may take some time Juventus to adjust to ex-Napoli boss Sarri’s playing style.
RealSport looks at how Napoli could line-up next season, alongside their potential FIFA 20 ratings.
Alex Meret (OVR 75 – 78)
Napoli are in a fairly unique position in that they have three goalkeepers that could be in contention for their starting spot; David Ospina, Orestis Karnezis and Meret. Although Ospina will appear sporadically, you can expect Meret to win the goalkeeping battle and, at the tender age of 22, is certainly one to watch. He should receive a three-point boost to 78.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo (OVR 69 – 75)
Position: RB, RWB, CB
Di Lorenzo impressed last season in an otherwise leaky Empoli defence, earning himself a move to Napoli. Considering that previous first-choice Elseid Hysaj has struggled under Ancelotti, you can expect Di Lorenzo to start next season, and receive a healthy boost on account of a strong debut season in Italy’s top division.
Kostas Manolas (OVR 85 – 84)
Signing Kostas Manolas is a seriously smart piece of business from Napoli, creating a mean centre-back pairing for next season. To sweeten the deal, Napoli gave Amadou Diawara to Roma, which makes sense considering Napoli are covered in midfield. After not quite showcasing his best form last term, Manolas drops one rating to 84 but is still a top-class player who is proven in Serie A.
Kalidou Koulibaly (OVR 88 – 89)
After Virgil van Dijk, Koulibaly was the best defender in the world last season, which says it all. Napoli have a real gem on their hands, not only because of his breathtaking ability, but also because he doesn’t seem to be too intent on moving to a bigger club. If he were keen to leave, the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona would be swarming. The Serie A Defender of the Year should be boosted to 89.
Faozi Ghoulam (OVR 81 – 79)
Like Hysaj, Ghoulam is a Napoli fullback who hasn’t quite excelled under Ancelotti in the same way that he did under Sarri, although some attest this to not fully recovering from a serious knee injury. His place may be under threat; reports say that Napoli may look to bring in a new left-back this summer, with the likes of Alex Grimaldo and Kieran Tierney linked. His rating should drop to 79.
Jose Callejon (OVR 84 – 83)
Position: RM, RW
Under Ancelotti, Callejon has played a less advanced role as a wide midfielder in a midfield four. He’s delivered consistently good performances for Napoli over the past six seasons, and reportedly rejected a big-money move to China earlier this summer. As he approaches the latter stages of his career (he’s now 32), his FIFA rating should drop by one or two.
Allan (OVR 84 – 84)
Allan deserves some major, major credit for the way he has stepped up in the wake of Jorginho’s departure to Chelsea and club legend Marek Hamsik’s move to China. This season, he forced his way into the Brazil squad and was linked to a big-money move to PSG. His rating was increased to 84 in January, which is where it should stay.
Fabian Ruiz (OVR 81 – 82)
Aurelio De Laurentiis, the Napoli chairman, claimed that he would never have allowed Hamsik to leave if it wasn’t for the Fabian Ruiz’s emergence. Fabian, as he is known, was a revelation last season after arriving from Real Betis. He followed that up with a great showing during Spain’s triumph at the Under-21 Euros. He’s a big talent, so much so that Napoli may struggle to hold onto him next summer. He gets a one-point boost.
Lorenzo Insigne (OVR 88 – 88)
Position: LW, CF, ST
Despite talk that he may leave earlier this summer, Insigne is still the first name on this Napoli team sheet. Insigne has played for Napoli for the entirety of his career, and there are few players in the league so capable of the sublime. For now, he starts on the wing, but he may well start up front at the expense of Dries Mertens. His rating stays at 88.
Dries Mertens (OVR 87 – 86)
Position: CF, ST
Dries Mertens had another impressive season last year, netting 17 goals in Serie A. Although he featured in 35 Serie A games last season, it is hard to see where he will fit in in the starting line-up next season, especially if they sign Nicolas Pepe, which will push Insigne up top alongside Arkadiusz Milik. Still, he’s a quality player, reflected by a rating of 86.
Arkadiusz Milik (OVR 82 – 83)
Having struggled with injury in his previous two seasons, Milik finally began to repay the approximately £30 million Napoli paid for him in 2016. He netted 17 times in Serie A, meaning that Napoli were the only team with two players in the top 10 scorers in the league (Milik and Mertens). His rating should be increased to 83 or possibly 84.
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On the bench
Ex-Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina’s (OVR 78 – 78) loan has been made permanent this summer. He’s a very good deputy to Meret – you can expect Ancelotti to hand him some healthy minutes.
As defensive cover, Napoli have Elseid Hysaj (OVR 81 – 78) at right-back and Mario Rui (OVR 78 – 78) at left-back. Now Raul Albiol has left the club, Napoli will be hoping that Vlad Chiriches (OVR 78 – 78) can make a successful return from injury.
Piotr Zielinski (OVR 80 – 81) will feature in most games, either out wide or in the middle. There are also high hopes for new signing Eljif Elmas (OVR 67 – 74), a popular figure at his old club Fenerbahce.
You can expect Napoli to add an attacking midfielder, with James Rodriguez, a favourite of Ancelotti’s, strongly linked. They are currently a little light in the striking department but have winger Simone Verdi (OVR 81 – 80) as a forward back-up.
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