When Faouzi Ghoulam was taken off late in Napoli’s 3-0 win over Cagliari on Sunday, fans feared the worst, that the top-notch left back had suffered an injury that the partenopei could ill afford.
Fortunately, the news wound up being much better than feared: Ghoulam had taken ill, succumbing to a viral infection that left him unable to continue the match. That illness will also keep him out of action for Algeria in this international break, with Ghoulam remaining in Italy to recover instead of meeting up with his national side for their World Cup qualifier against Cameroon.
While the news is certainly unfortunate for Algeria fans, Ghoulam getting to sit out the next week-plus of travel and action is good news for Napoli fans. Ghoulam has been in fantastic form, but he’s also been showing some small signs of fatigue, with Maurizio Sarri not certain enough of Mario Rui’s fitness or tactical readiness to give his backup much playing time yet this season. Getting ten days to rest and recover before returning to training will be huge for Ghoulam, and Napoli will be much better off for it, especially with a huge match against Manchester City looming in the Champions League.
So get well soon, Faouzi, and get ready to kick some more ass as soon as the international break is done.