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Serie A

Five underrated Napoli players who were key players in winning the Serie A title

By now, everyone should know how to spell - and pronounce - his name. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, together with Victor Osimhen and Kim Min-jae, has emerged as a European football sensation while leading Napoli to championship triumph and well into the Champions League. In a team game, though, it takes more than three players to bring a league title.

1. Giovanni Di Lorenzo

Look no further than right-back and captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo to find Mr Dependable. He is not a fashionable footballer, but people are gradually seeing how good a performance he is. His contribution to Italy's Euro 2020 win was significant, but he has grown much more crucial for his club side. His composure, control, and quality made him a critical component of this team's offensive and defence.

He was busy making marauding runs down the flank to combine with Chucky Lozano, Matteo Politano, or anyone else was on his wing when Napoli were at their cavalier best. His passes and movement were perfectly timed, and he chipped in with the odd goal and assist while helping to close the back door. The modest Tuscan hero has just added another major award to his collection.

2. Alex Meret

Alex Meret has developed as a top-class keeper worthy of national team consideration behind Di Lorenzo in goal this season. He isn't very glamorous, but his record of preserving a clean sheet in 50% of his league games at the time of writing speaks for itself. Yes, he has benefited from a strong defence, but he has also been in top form. At only 26 years old, he has the potential to improve even more in the coming years.

3. Stanislav Lobotka

Stanislav Lobotka, the man who keeps Napoli ticking, has been another standout performer. He may not hit 50-yard passes or offer many goals or assists (one in Serie A ahead of round 32), but his influence should not be overlooked. This season, the Partenopei have been more than the sum of their parts, and he is the one who holds it all together. You believe that the team would have struggled to play the way it wanted to without the 28-year-old Slovakian.

In certain instances, he seemed to materialise at the breakdown of every attack, sweep up, and urge his team forward again. With a success percentage of more than 94%, his precision passing puts him towards the top of the league charts. They weren't always defense-splitting, but they were rarely wasted and always helped his team seize control of a game and suffocate the opposition.

4. Anguissa

André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, who repeatedly imposed himself on matches, was his partner in crime in bossing games. It's easy to dismiss him as all about physical strength and force, but it overlooks the subtlety of much of his play. Fulham fans may regard him as a mystery, yet he played a key role in propelling his new club to the Premier League title.

5. Piotr Zielinski

There were plenty of other crucial players who made charming cameos or more constant appearances, but a last word goes to the incomparable Piotr Zielinski, who provided a slew of assists and the odd goal during this historic season. If there is one lasting memory of his performances, it is undoubtedly the little shimmy he used to send his marker the wrong way before opening an opposition defence. This was a season full with heroes, but the Polish international was unquestionably a key component of Napoli's success.

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Giovanni Di Lorenzo Khvicha Kvaratskhelia Kim Min-jae Napoli Victor Osimhen


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