Christian Maggio has barely played for Napoli since the first few matches of the season, and not without good reason. He was a weak link on the back line, and after Elseid Hysaj flipped over to his natural right side, he played much better than Maggio, so he's been getting the vast majority of the minutes at right back since Napoli's form turned around.
But Maggio hasn't been happy about that, and he's been agitating in the media about it recently through his agent. Sarri hears him loud and clear, and he's found a spot for him to get that much-desired start: on Thursday against FC Midtjylland.
Sarri declared that Maggio would "go onto the pitch" during his pre-match press conference Wednesday, as well as strongly hinting that other hardly-used players like Ivan Strinic, Nathaniel Chalobah, and Jacopo Dezi could all see the pitch soon as well, either against Midtjylland or in the very near future.
Strinic has to do a bit more work tactically, but there’s been progress and we’re starting to take him into consideration.
[Jacopo] Dezi has other characteristics, and there’s also [Nathaniel] Chalobah, but these are lads who have to grow.
The latter, in addition to his young age also has the difficulty of adapting to another style of football, and needs a few months to feel at ease.
-Source: Football Italia
At least we know a little bit now why these players haven't been seen much. That said, Sarri needs to start working them in -- Napoli have used just 18 players in the league this season, the fewest in Serie A. Really, that could should be just 17, as Strinic played all of nine minutes in his one appearance. Chalobah saw similar minutes in a Europa League match, and Gabriel has played a single match in the Europa as well.
That's not a lot of rotation, even for a manager in Sarri who claims not to like "over-rotating," and the high workload and some physically tough matches are taking a bit of a toll on some players. Hopefully we see more of some of these guys in the near future. First, though, it's time for Maggio to show that he deserves to play more.