In what was possibly one of the least dramatic transfer sagas of the summer -- which is saying a lot for this club and its propensity toward outlandish statements and, well, lion masks -- Dries Mertens has signed for Napoli on a five year deal. The 26 year old Belgian comes to Naples from PSV Eindhoven, where he scored 16 goals in 29 appearances this past Eredivisie season. Mertens also notched five appearances in the Europa League last year, scoring one goal. Against Napoli. Thanks, dude.
But now that he'll be scoring for the partenopei, Napoli supporters can get excited about the winger. Mertens can play on either side, although it's more likely that Rafa Benitez will use him on the right. If that's the case, it's likely Christian Maggio will return to right back, a role he's had some troubles filling with the national side. If Rafa is feeling brave, Mertens can also play on the left as an inverted winger, which might liven things up a bit.
A word of caution: don't expect 20 goals in Mertens' first season at Napoli. The Dutch league is famous for its free flowing attacking game, and with the more conservative Benitez in charge, it's likely Napoli's own infamous attack will start to fade. But Mertens brings a few new tricks to the partenopei and should be considered a quality addition to the squad.