We start the week with good news for Napoli fans, and news that all will welcome gladly. According to reports in Italy, Napoli and fullback Faouzi Ghoulam have agreed to terms on a contract extension that will keep the talented Algerian in Naples until 2021.
The deal extends Ghoulam's stay for three further years than his current contract, which was set to run out in 2018. It also more than doubles his wages, from some €700,000 per season to around €1.6 million per year. That's a big bump to a healthy wage, but it's hard to argue that Ghoulam hasn't more than earned such a raise since he joined the club.
Signing on the deadline of the winter transfer window in 2014 from AS Saint-Etienne in France for some €5 million, Ghoulam quickly showed his significant potential. Match after match, he displayed skills that have only grown greater and more dependable as his career has gone on. Now 25, Ghoulam is only just starting to see his peak years come into reach, and this contract locks him up for what should be the pinnacle of his career.
Ghoulam has proved to be one of the smartest and shrewdest purchases Napoli have made in recent years -- no easy feat considering how well they've done on the transfer market of late -- and it's good to see him rewarded for his strong work. This contract should also serve to help ward off potentially interested clubs -- Napoli already had to fend off a number of approaches in each of the last two transfer windows, even from bigger English clubs like Arsenal, and after the season Ghoulam enjoyed, such attention was only going to grow.
Once pen is put to paper, which should happen soon, Napoli will have locked up one of the anchors of their defense. Now to extend Kalidou Koulibaly and make things even more secure.