As a local player who's come good and become a major part of Napoli, Lorenzo Insigne has become something of a hero to the local community. He has the potential to help lead the club to some pretty incredible glory -- and do so for the only club he's ever known.
Napoli president and chairman Aurelio De Laureniis wants to see that happen. That's why he's given Insigne annual contract extensions the last several years, in order to keep him happy and tied to the club for as long as possible. He sees Insigne as a lifelong part of the club, a figure not at all unlike Francesco Totti has been for Roma.
While it's a popular thing to hate Totti, it also shouldn't be hard to respect the Roman legend for what he's done in his career. He's been with Roma since he was a boy, and at 38, that makes for an incredibly long career with a single team. He's won the league with Roma, won the World Cup with Italy, he's the active leader in Serie A goalscoring, and he's won a truckload of awards and plaudits for his high level of play throughout his career. Even now, pushing 40, he's a talismanic player for Roma, and if Lorenzo Insigne can meet or surpass that level of accomplishment for Napoli, the partenopei will have enjoyed one hell of a player.
Heck, they're even similar players, both undersized second-striker types. Totti has generally been more creative in his career than we've seen from Insigne so far, but that could change with Maurizio Sarri transitioning Insigne into a trequartista role behind the two strikers up top. While Totti wears the number 10 shirt for Roma, we shouldn't expect Insigne to don the number made legendary in Naples by Diego Maradona -- though if he lives up to that legacy and earns that number, no one will complain.
So it makes sense when Insigne's agent says that De Laurentiis wants him "to be in a Totti type role" for Napoli in his career. That kind of longevity and stability and quality would be an excellent asset for Napoli to have in hand, and news of yet another contract extension in the works for Insigne indicates that ADL is taking that goal very seriously.
As a Napoli fan, it's easy to roll your eyes when you hear one of the partenopei's best compared to any Roma player, but if Insigne draws comparisons to Totti, that's worth noting. If he's Napoli's version of the Italian star -- that would be absolutely fantastic.