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This past week saw Napoli confirm the signing of versatile defender Pablo Armero from Udinese on a loan deal until the end of this current season, with the option to buy half of his contract at the end of that period.
Earlier in the week Udinese president Giampaulo Pozzo was quoted saying, ‘As a provincial side, every time the transfer window opens, it is difficult for us to keep hold of our valuable players’. This more or less confirmed the interest that Napoli had.
The Partnopei are currently enjoying their best season in the top flight in Italy for many years which is fantastic considering they haven’t won the Scudetto for over 20 years. They currently sit 3 points behind leaders Juventus but during December they were dealt a major blow in the latest Italian football scandal, the Scommessopoli.
The outcome saw usual starter Paulo Cannavaro banned for 6 months. Their substitute goalkeeper Gianluca Grava was also banned but this didn’t pose much of a problem because they still had their number one keeper Morgan De Sanctis available.
This is why they looked to the transfer market for a loan deal. Pablo Armero fits Napoli’s style of play perfectly. He is accustomed to the 3-4-3 formation often used by Napoli. Earlier this month, the Partnopei saw the departure of Salvatore Aronica to Palermo.
He alongside Paulo Cannavaro and Hugo Campagnaro formed the regular back three which performed well in last season’s Champions League. Another defender for the Partnopei, Miguel Britos has put in a few good performances lately which could see Pablo Armero utilised as a wing-back which he was also used as at Udinese.
Pablo Armero is a brilliant reader of the game which is important when using the three manned defences. He is very quick on the ball which is very important in these positions. I expect him to be used in his regular position, on the right side of a three manned defence.
Since then, the bans placed upon Paulo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava has been lifted. It is important for Napoli to find a good defensive base at this point of the season as this is the point where they usually fade away out of the top 3 – and title chances, in the process.
Thus, the signing of the versatile and powerful Colombian international could prove to be the final piece of the Napoli puzzle.
Written by Tom French
Follow him on Twitter @TomFrenchy91
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