Sometimes, being a native son of the city you play in is a blessing. The fanbase rallies around you, the energy lifts you up, and the support of the people you grew up with help propel you to amazing heights in your career.
Sometimes, however, growing up in the city you play in is much more of a curse. Unfortunately in the case of Lorenzo Insigne, that seems to be what's happening.
Less than a month after being treated horribly by fans at a squad presentation event in Dimaro, the relationship between Insigne and the Napoli fanbase has only continued to degrade. He was treated indifferently during squad introductions in recent matches, and was whistled, booed, and jeered when he was subbed off during the Athletic Bilbao match after a rough spell on the pitch.
Frankly, the way Insigne has been treated by large portions of the fanbase over the last year-plus is absolutely unconscionable and intolerable. Insigne is a tremendously talented player who's still learning parts of his game, so inconsistency should be expected. The way the fans have so completely and virulently turned against him during his struggles is shocking and disgusting.
In all honesty, his girlfriend is right: with the way Insigne has been treated, these fans truly don't deserve him. He deserves far better than he's getting, and it shouldn't at all be surprise that he reportedly asked Rafa Benitez for permission to move to another club.
Fortunately, Rafa turned down the request and threw all his support behind Insigne, which will hopefully help the degrading situation. This won't be the last we hear of this, though, and if things don't change for the better the fans will finally force Insigne out of the club.
The fans involved in this abhorrent behavior should be ashamed of themselves.These are people that grew up with and around Insigne in Naples, and whose approval he craves as a result. The way he's been treated has visibly crushed him at times, and has only increased the pressure he feels on the pitch, making it tougher for him to perform as we all know he can.
Be better than that, people. This is a player who well deserves your love and support. Stop being assholes, or we'll all lose him and very quickly come to regret it.