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Insigne leaving Napoli, or is his agent playing hardball?

Giuseppe Bellini

It seems that Fabio Andreotti, agent for Lorenzo Insigne, has hinted that the Naples native just may not have a long and illustrious (tee-hee) career with his hometown side. After stating that Insigne would love to stay at Napoli for as long as possible, Andreotti said "a player's dream's don't always come true."

With, one imagines, a regretful shake of the head.

But will Napoli really let Insigne go, or is this just a threat aimed at the club? Considering Insigne just penned a new five-year deal last August, it doesn't seem like it's time for contract negotiations. Perhaps it's simply an attempt to find some decent bargaining chips - or get his player some time on the pitch.

Insigne's had 26 appearances in Serie A this season, but only sixteen of those were starts, and he's managed just two goals. With Dries Mertens looking better and better as the season goes on, Marek Hamšík back to health and José Callejón seemingly a lock on the right, there's not a lot of space for Insigne to occupy.

Granted, the 22-year-old doesn't exactly need a lot of space, but it's also true that, barring an injury, he's also not likely to get many more league starts this season. That doesn't mean he's not a vital part of the Napoli squad. His pace, energy and trickery are often sorely needed in the second half of matches, and introducing Insigne usually puts a bit of a spring in the partenopei step. And don't count him out of Napoli's future plans, either. It often seems as though Insigne is just a bit too undisciplined for Rafa Benítez, but that could very well change with age.

Finally, don't discount his Neapolitan blood. It's a big plus around these parts, and most fans absolutely adore Illustrious. Insigne is valuable both on and off the pitch, and, even if he hasn't nailed down a starting role, don't expect Napoli to be ready to give him up.