The Napoli Primavera earned a 1-0 win against Udinese on Friday for a rare 3 points in what has been a rough few months. The youth team is currently 7th in the Primavera table, but only have two wins in their last eleven matches including some big losses to Liverpool (5-0) and Roma (5-1). In truth, there isn’t much of a correlation between youth team success and senior team success but that doesn’t mean the Primavera isn’t important. Napoli have never really been a club that has built their team through an academy although they have produced a few stars (Ciro Ferrara, Fabio Cannavaro, and Lorenzo Insigne). However, for a club that doesn’t have the financial resources of the teams up north, the youth squad can be a cost effective way to produce key contributors for the senior team. That’s why we’re going to take a look at some of the young players you should keep an eye on in the coming years.
Gianluca Gaetano is the captain of the Napoli Primavera and has scored an impressive 11 goals this season including a remarkable solo goal in Friday’s win against Udinese. Gaetano’s recent form has caught the attention of Carlo Ancelotti who called him up to the senior team and even came on as a sub in Napoli’s Coppa Italia win against Sassuolo. The young trequartista is a skilled dribbler (see goal against Udinese) and possesses great acceleration. Gaetano is similar to Dortmund’s Marco Reus in that he has the ball control of a player like Coutinho but with a slightly larger physical frame. His delivery from set pieces could also be a big asset and the Neapolitan is definitely one to keep an eye on for the future.
Although not as exciting a prospect as Gaetano, another player to keep an eye on is midfielder Francesco Mezzoni. Mezoni has a team high 22 appearances this season and leads the team in assists. Unlike Gaetano who is from Naples and has been with the Partenopei for years, Mezoni is originally from Rome and was brought over to Napoli in 2017 from Carpi. He hasn’t taken long to make an impression though and has even earned a call up with the Italy U19 team earlier this year. Don’t be surprised if you see his name appear on the senior team sheet in a couple of years.
Highlights vs Udinese: