This summer was not a fun one for Napoli fans, especially those who wanted Napoli to sign a new midfielder. All summer long, Napoli went after midfielder after midfielder, coming close to signing several, but every time something happened to kill the deal.
Javier Mascherano? Used Napoli's interest to get a new contract at Barcelona. Maxime Gonalons? Spent six months flirting with the club only to reject a deal at the last second. Marouane Fellaini? Manchester United threw roadblock after roadblock in to the negotiations, only for Fellaini to get hurt when a deal was finally close.
Finally, Napoli were able to find a deal for the ball-winning midfielder they'd long sought, though the reputation and profile of David Lopez was somewhat lower than what fans had been hoping for. His experience at the top level of football is limited, with only a season of La Liga under his belt despite being 24 years old. Despite what seems like obvious limitations that some have been heaping on him, though, Lopez is still a very good player deserving of the fans' respect, respect that Lopez very much wants to earn.
"The fact that negative things have been written about me does not get me down," Lopez said in his introductory press conference today. "People do not know me and I will try to change their mind on the field. For me it will be a great challenge, this team last year won the Coppa Italia and did well in the League and in the Champions League. I have come here to learn and to develop under a great Coach and I do not set myself any limits.
"Am I ready right now? No doubt I am ready to play every three days, I feel good physically. I have already played with my former team this season, I have no problem. I know that this will be a pivotal year for Napoli - there a big objectives and I am here to provide my contribution. I know it is a difficult moment because of the Champions League and that there is great pressure, but now we look forward."
These are the words of a player who knows there's a tough task ahead, and is ready to embrace it. Napoli have themselves a fine player who can become a strong part of the team; fans just have to give him a chance instead of making him the focus of their disappointment in the way the summer turned out.