Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has claimed the club missed out on star winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia due to COVID-19.
The eccentric filmmaker said the club discovered him three years ago, but the pandemic shrunk the club’s finances.
Napoli returned to Kvaratskhelia last summer, and he signed for around €12 million from Dinamo Batumi.
The 73-year-old spoke to the press today ahead of his side’s Champions League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt.
“The coaches have a role, which is to coach,” De Laurentiis said via TuttoMercatoWeb. “And fortunately we have a coach who knows how to coach, who knows how to make the team work.
“But it’s not up to us to expect every coach to know all the players in the world. It’s our job to pay attention to the transfer market.
“There is a player, Kvaratskhelia, who we had discovered three years ago, but we had losses of €30 million during COVID.”
Kvaratskhelia has been one of the signings of the season in European football this season. His impact at the club was immediate as he added an x-factor on the wings.
He comfortably replaced club legend and former captain Lorenzo Insigne.
Kvaratskhelia has scored ten goals and assisted nine in 19 Serie A appearances. He has bagged two goals and three assists in five Champions League outings.
The 22-year-old has formed a deadly partnership with striker Victor Osimhen. They are one of Europe’s most prolific duos at the moment.
However, Kvaratskhelia’s numbers don’t define him. It is his elite dribbling and mesmerising ball-carrying ability that scares defenders.
The Georgian can jink past players in the blink of an eye to create openings from tight spaces.
Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen can lead Napoli to their first title in over 30 years this season. The Partenopei lead the league with 18 points and look unstoppable.
Frankfurt boss Oliver Glasner will be worried about the threat of Kvaratskhelia during the clash. But they will struggle to find a way to keep the persistent attacker silent.
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