Mauro Icardi was heavily criticised for his decision to reject a move to Napoli by Gazzetta dello Sport’s Luigi Garlando this morning.
Maurito had until today to accept a lucrative five-year deal from the Partenopei, but there appears to be no sign of him doing so.
Garlando warned Icardi he was turning down the chance to join ‘one of the best amusement parks that exists for a striker in the world’.
He pointed out how Napoli dominated last season’s assist charts in Serie A and took far more shots on goal than any other side.
“Dries Mertens was joint-top alongside Papu Gomez with 11 assists, with Jose Maria Callejon just below (10) and Lorenzo Insigne a little further back (6),” Garlando wrote in a hard-hitting column.
“Juventus’ highest-ranked players (Cristiano Ronaldo, Miralem Pjanic and Mario Mandzukic) made seven fewer in total, while Inter’s top three players didn’t even figure in the top 24.
“Napoli were also the only team to take more than 700 shots on goal (706), with Inter producing 634 in total and Juventus making 609. They were first for shots on target with 236, while Juventus were fourth (201) and Inter fifth (199).
“The moral of the story is that Icardi has often had to make do with one half-chance per match at Inter and he’s always scored a lot anyway. If he joined Napoli he would be able to fully express his exceptional goal-scoring qualities.”
Garlando also questioned Maurito’s decision to decline the chance to work with Carlo Ancelotti, whom he thought could have been perfect for the Argentine.
“OK, he’s always managed great teams with world-class strikers, but Carletto will have done something right if Shevchenko scored 24 goals in 32 matches for him (Milan 2003-04), Drogba scored 29 in 32 games (Chelsea 2009-10) and Ibrahimovic scored 30 in 34 games (PSG 2012-13).
“His paternal, philosophical and soft managerial style would have been ideal for Icardi’s convalescence, after falling foul of Luciano Spalletti’s cantankerous ways and having the door slammed in his face by Antonio Conte.”
Icardi was also accused of turning down the opportunity to make himself an idol again, having suffered a series of public fall-outs in recent years.
“If Naples decides to love you they put you back at the centre of the world,” Garlando concluded.
“If you’re an Argentine who helps the people’s cause and gets them to win something, they can even dedicate you a church and plaster you to all their walls.
“Icardi is likely to say no to Napoli today, but does he realise what he’s saying no to?”