Emanuele Giaccherini has had a quiet and largely uninspiring 18 months in Naples, and now that time has come to an end. Napoli announced on Wednesday that they’ve sent him to Chievo Verona on loan on transfer deadline day, with the Donkeys holding a mandatory purchase option if they stay up in Serie A.
Giaccherini has played just five times for Napoli this season, with his only start coming in their Coppa Italia match against Udinese. He hardly played more last season, with a single league start and 15 appearances off the bench, mostly in garbage time late in matches. He was supposed to bring a veteran presence off the bench and valuable rotation depth, but his performances hardly ever warranted a place in a side fighting for the Serie A title.
For Chievo, Giaccherini will be hoping to help use his experience to stabilize a team currently in free-fall towards the bottom of the table. They haven’t won a match since November, losing six of eight league matches since that long-forgotten win over SPAL — and even that win took a late comeback to achieve, with two goals in the last half hour from Napoli-bound striker Roberto Inglese. Their last convincing win was all the way back in October, a 2-1 win over Fiorentina that helped cement the Viola’s struggles this season.
Chievo have very little depth in the attacking midfield band that Giaccherini occupies, and even less real quality in that area of the pitch. They still have a five-point cushion to work with over the drop zone, but that’s been getting smaller and smaller ever week, especially with virtually every team beneath them in better form of late. It seems unlikely that Giaccherini alone will help save them, but he can at least help — and maybe that spark of help is all they need to stay alive.