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Signing Gabbiadini is pricey, but a smart move

A transfer fee that could rise as high as €13 million is a steep cost for a January transfer, but making such a move would be smart for Napoli on several levels.

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News broke earlier that Napoli are close to an €11 million transfer deal to acquire Manolo Gabbiadini from Sampdoria, a deal that could rise to €13 million with incentive add-ons. That's an expensive deal for a January transfer, especially since Napoli couldn't afford to spend much this summer on any given transfer. When you actually sit back and think about it, htough, the deal makes a lot of sense for Napoli.

From a pure tactical standpoint, Gabbiadini helps fill an immediate need. With Lorenzo Insigne likely out for the season, once Gabbi is officially signed he can immediately slot in to the rotation at left wing with Dries Mertens. On days that he doesn't start, he has the versatility and skill to be a top-notch impact sub at any of the three forward positions, up front or on either flank.

Financially, Gabbiadini makes a lot more sense than other options as well; while the fee is higher than we might like, it's in the same range as most of Napoli's other reported targets at the position. Any of Ivan Perisic, Ezequiel Lavezzi, or Andre Ayew would cost at least as much, and while each may have greater overall talents, Gabbiadini offers a skillset that Napoli needs, and with other benefits off the pitch as well.

Where Gabbiadini really saves them money is in terms of his wages. Currently, he makes a little less than €12,000 per week, a screaming deal for the more financially-limited Sampdoria. Moving forward in contract negotiations to bring him to Naples, the partenopei could triple his wages without even blinking or worrying, whereas any of those other three would require wages at least twice Gabbi's improved wages. Combining a higher-than-wanted fee with high wages makes the Financial Fair Play impact all the harsher, which is something a club like Napoli with more limited financial resources than other clubs needs to avoid.

There's also one thing that Gabbiadini can give Napoli that those other players can't: he's Italian, and home grown. With the FIGC's new roster rules requiring a minimum count of over-21 players who spent their formative years with Italian clubs starting next season, Gabbiadini will help Napoli meet that requirement. They would at current, but at least one of their players in the squad who meet those guidelines won't be around next season as Roberto Colombo will likely retire at season's end. Christian Maggio's contract is also running down, and it seems questionable at the moment as to whether or not he'll return next season.

All factors considered, Gabbiadini is a smart buy for Napoli. He'd fill needs both this season and down the line, and the financial impact is tolerable, especially with his wages accounted for. It's perhaps not as "sexy" a move as some of Napoli's other rumored targets would be, but it's a move that makes a lot of sense and does Napoli a lot of good. Hopefully this pans out and Napoli fans get to enjoy Gabbi's talents for years to come.