Simone Verdi – A Tactical Look at Napoli’s Potential New Boy

With the January window open, and two weeks until the next set of fixtures in Serie A, it’s officially “Silly Season” for calcio fans. Us at Sempre! can’t even help but get involved in the action, so I am going to take some time to breakdown the potential benefits of prospective incomer, 25-Year old Bologna Winger, Simone Verdi.

Where does Simone line up on the pitch?

Simone Verdi is a versatile character. He has played a total of 8 different positions in his career, ranging from Central Midfield to Center Forward, as seen below:

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Lately though, he’s predominantly played on the attacking flanks, as 15 of his starts this season have come as a Right Winger.

What are some of his strengths as a player?

Verdi offers a lot of appealing things as a player. His most noticeable attributes are:

  • He is truly two-footed: Simone is an anomaly in this respect. He is a truly two-footed footballer. So much so, that earlier this season he scored free-kicks with both feet in the same match:
  • Versatility: This isn’t the first, and won’t be the last time we mention his positional versatility. Verdi offers any manager options to where he can be used, and given our manager’s sometimes stubborn ways, this could be key in assuring a player like Verdi playing time. In addition, Verdi’s output is also pretty versatile this season with 6 goals and 5 assists thus far this season.

 

  • Technical ability: 1v1 and in first touch ability, Verdi can hurt the opposition. He currently sits tied for 7th in Serie A with 2.7 succesful dribbles per game. His Slick moves, and little bursts of misdirection also allow the former Milan youth product those bits of space that add to another strength of his…

 

  • Finishing from distance: Not unlike our own Italian winger, Lorenzo Insigne, Simone uses spaces he creates as opportunities to blast long distance shots home. Ask Napoli last season….

What can Simone offer our club tactically?

Verdi can offer us a lot of options depending on how Sarri wants to use him. He has coached Verdi previously at Empoli, and I am sure is very aware of the player’s strengths.

However, I think versatility in tactics is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Verdi could of course, just be used as a straight RW or LW replacement in our standard 4-3-3, but Sarri has tinkered with the idea of a 4-2-3-1 at times this season, and could even look to revert to a 4-3-1-2 depending on the match situations or opponents. Let’s take a look at some potential formations with Verdi inserted as a CAM:

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Conclusion

I think Verdi would be an absolutely wonderful signing if he does arrive. In a team where versatility could be absolutely key to ensure a spot moving forward, Verdi provides just that. In the short term, he can provide us with a truly dangerous option off the bench. In the long term, it could pay both Napoli and Verdi off with a locked down starting position in a multitude of positions.


By Ken Cioffredi

 

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