Transfer Rumor Dud: Sunderland's Swede Is Not Coming To Napoli

He's the guy getting decked by one of the smallest strikers in England. Yeah. - Dean Mouhtaropoulos

There have been rumors linking Seb Larsson to Napoli on a free transfer, but they don't make a lick of sense.

While some transfer rumors make sense, like the Blerim Dzemaili story discussed this morning, others... well, others just don't come anywhere close to making sense.

Take this rumor for example. A story gaining some mild traction over the last week has been one connecting Napoli to a move to sign Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson on a free transfer. It sounds all well and good at first blush... until you actually stop to think about it.

Larsson is a pretty decent midfielder, and has some versatility to him as well. He's best played in a box-to-box role through the middle, but can do a decent job out wide as a sort of defensive winger. He's even got a pretty decent free kick in him as a nice and shiny bonus for people in to that sort of thing. Bringing in a versatile backup on a free seems like a pretty good move to me.

So what's the problem? Well... he's not actually all that good.

Yes, he's a Swedish international with nearly 60 caps. Yes, he's spent years in the English Premier League. He's been on some terrible teams, though, including the Birmingham City side that was relegated several years ago, and a Sunderland side that's only barely escaped relegation twice since then. If Larsson had been a standout performer in those teams that might be one thing, but he hasn't been in years.

The problem is that Larsson so painfully average that it boggles the mind. He does a lot of things pretty OK, but outside of his free kicks he doesn't actually do anything well, and Napoli have at least five players who are better on dead balls. When you consider that Dzemaili is a better all-around player than Larsson, is on similar wages to what Larsson would probably get on a Bosman signing, and is considered potentially surplus to Napoli's requirements this season, this rumor just falls apart faster and faster.

So no, Napoli will not be signing Sebastian Larsson. This is a rumor you can throw straight in to the "made up for fill space" bin. Why it even got started is a mystery.

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