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Napoli loan Alberto Grassi back to Atalanta for the season

With no room in midfield, Napoli decided to let Grassi’s old club continue his development.

Italy U21 v Albania U21 - International Friendly Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

After a wasted half-season with Napoli, Alberto Grassi is on his way back to Atalanta, with the two clubs announcing a loan deal on Tuesday that will see him return to the club that put him on the map for the season.

Grassi’s Napoli tenure got off to a rough start after suffering an ankle injury in his first training session, one that took him longer than anticipated to return from. Even once he was healthy though, Maurizio Sarri was loathe to use him, with Grassi not seeing the field even once, though he was a regular on the bench. Grassi got some playing time in pre-season friendlies, but it was obvious from the constant flow of midfielder rumors this summer that Sarri wanted a different option.

It’s a good move for Grassi, as the current structure of Atalanta’s midfield will afford him plenty of playing time. He’s a talented player, but not quite at the level Napoli want and need right now — but with enough time on the pitch, Grassi can get there. This move gives him the chance to get that playing time, so it’s a big win-win.