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Mercato Madness: Napoli to pursue Glen Johnson?

Liverpool's out-of-favor fullback has a contract that expires at the end of the season, leading some to believe that Napoli is going to pursue him this January.

Clive Brunskill

Napoli have been linked to another English player with an expiring contract, after news last week connected them to a pre-contract deal for James Milner. Now, new reports have them pursuing Liverpool fullback Glen Johnson, who's deal is up at the end of the season and has apparently seen renewal talks break down.

Johnson was brought to Liverpool by Rafa Benitez, now in charge of Napoli, and is the latest in a long line of players he brought to Anfield to be linked to a move to Napoli. Lucas Leiva, Daniel Agger, and Martin Skrtel have all been linked to various moves to Naples over the last fifteen months, but the only one to actually pan out so far in Pepe Reina's loan last season. Frankly, this one feels like nothing more than paper talk with no real bones behind the story.

For the sake thoroughness, though, let's look at what such a deal would look like for Napoli. Johnson is a right back who can play a little on the left, has good pace, and at his best was a powerful asset in his side's attacking game. That sounds good for Napoli, right?

Well, let's give you our opinion of such a move for the partenopei: ew, no.

Johnson at his best was a player whose form spiked up-and-down. On his good days, he was a golden god on the right flank, bombing up and down the pitch and wreaking havoc on both ends of the pitch. On his bad days, he was flat, uninspiring, and not all that effective. Over the last two years, he's grown increasingly injury-prone, his good days have become much more rare and not nearly as shiny as they once were, and on his bad days he's a liability at best.

He's not an upgrade over Christian Maggio, he's not helpful for Napoli, and oh, by the way, his current contract is pretty huge and he's been extremely resistant to anything resembling a paycut. So there's that, too.

Signing Glen Johnson doesn't make sense for Napoli at all. It's a bad idea, a bad fit, and the potential of such a deal hurting Napoli is a lot higher than the potential of it helping the club. If there's any grain of truth to this rumor, hopefully Napoli move on from the idea, soon.