Reports out of Italy claim that Napoli have approached Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi with an offer that includes a 9 million euro salary plus bonuses. Icardi has tallied an impressive 120 goals since arriving in Serie A in 2012 so it’s no surprise he’s a wanted man, but is he really worth all the extra baggage? I would argue no and for a few different reasons.
First, this proposed deal would make Icardi the second highest paid player in Italy right behind Cristiano Ronaldo and he would have by far the highest wage at Napoli. This is too much money to spend on a player who for the most part relies heavily on the service he gets as opposed to a player like Ronaldo who can create his own chances. Napoli would be better off investing the money elsewhere such as left-back or in the midfield if Allan leaves.
Second, Napoli already have a quality striker in Arkadiusz Milik. I’m sure many of you are raising you’re eyebrows right now, after all, we’ve seen Milik miss numerous seemingly sure-things in the last few months alone. Some of the criticism is warranted but in reality he is arguably the most lethal striker in Italy and one of the best in Europe. Milik is currently averaging a goal every 103 minutes which is the best goals to minute ratio in the league (yes even ahead of Ronaldo) and one of the best in Europe. This stat also doesn’t take penalties into consideration and Milik hasn’t taken a single penalty all season while other top Serie A strikers have scored a large chunk of their goals from the spot (Ronaldo 5, Quaqliarella 5, Icardi 3, Belotti 4, etc). So while he has missed his share of sitters, let’s not overlook how good of a season he’s having and how every free kick that’s just outside the box has a pretty good chance of going in when Milik’s taking it.
Finally, whatever team that ends up signing Icardi needs to understand is that they’re not just getting the player, but also his wife/agent and all of the drama that the two bring. This current rift with Inter is just the latest in a long line of incidents since his arrival at the club and he’s managed to anger his fans, managers, and teammates along the way. One of the things that has made Napoli such a special club over the last five years is that the players seem to have a special bond with each other. They spend nights off together and when someone gets hurt the entire team rallies around and supports them. These things don’t happen at every club and team chemistry isn’t something that should be taken for granted. It’s hard to tell what the impact Icardi would have on the overall team atmosphere, but is it really worth taking that chance?