With the close of the transfer window comes the time for Napoli to register their squad for the next stage of the Europa League. The club's round of 32 tie against Turkish side Trabzonspor looms at the end of the month; who will we see take the field in azzurri?
For the most part, the squad is the same as it was in the group stage. Lorenzo Insigne and Camilo Zuniga remain in the squad despite their long-term injuries, lending credence to rumors and belief that they will be back sooner rather than later. Zuniga reportedly could be back within the next two to three weeks; Insigne won't be back until March at the soonest, leaving him out for this round but potentially available for the next, which this registration also covers.
Of Napoli's two January signings, only Manolo Gabbiadini has been registered to play in the Europa League, taking the spot of injured Michu, who remains out after ankle surgery at the end of November. Ivan Strinic is ineligible to play for Napoli in the Europa League, being cap-tied to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk after appearing for them in earlier stages in the competition. Fortunately, Faouzi Ghoulam is healthy and ready to rock, allowing Napoli to play a straight rotation between the two during weeks when Napoli compete on multiple fronts.
Napoli only have 22 of 25 possible players registered for the Europa League, as they only have one player, Insigne, who meets UEFA's club-trained player standards. In UEFA competitions, clubs are required to have at least four over-21 players in the squad who trained with the club for at least three years between the ages of 15 and 21; if a club doesn't have enough players who meet that requirement, then the corresponding roster spots must be left empty. Next season, two more players will become eligible, as both Roberto Insigne and Josip Radosevic will no longer qualify as under-21's, and Radosevic completes his third year in Napoli's system.
Napoli's first match against Trabzonspor in the round of 32 is in Turkey on February 19th at Avni Aker Stadium at 7 PM CET/1 PM EST. The return leg is at the San Paolo on February 26th at 9 PM CET/3 PM EST. The full Napoli squad available for those matches is listed below.
Goalkeepers: Rafael Cabral, Mariano Andujar
Defenders: Christian Maggio, Henrique Buss, Miguel Britos, Camilo Zuniga, Kalidou Koulibaly, Faouzi Ghoulam, Raul Albiol, Giandomenico Mesto
Midfielders: Jonathan De Guzman, Jorginho, David Lopez, Walter Gargano, Gokhan Inler, Dries Mertens, Marek Hamsik
Forwards: Jose Callejon, Gonzalo Higuain, Manolo Gabbiadini, Lorenzo Insigne, Duvan Zapata