Arsenal & Spurs Should Be Competing For Dries Mertens Signature

Napoli have a rich history in finding good players and making them top class performers.

In the past you’ve seen Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gonzalo Higuain shine bright at the Stadio San Paolo.

They still have the talismanic figure of Marek Hamsik pulling the strings for the Partenopei, while Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne continue to impress. Defensively Kalidou Koulibaly has all the attributes to become one of the best centre-backs in the game and Faouzi Ghoulam has been highly impressive on the left this term in Serie A.

But for me, the star man at the moment is Belgian forward Dries Mertens. His relatively recent hot form will have had scouts around Europe looking at him and asking Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis about his availability next summer.

Now the small dynamic forward will be solely concentrating on trying to win the Scudetto with Gil Azzurri.

If that doesn’t happen at the end of this term, and let’s face it Juventus don’t seem ready to give up their title, then I fully expect Napoli to cash in on their talent and for Dries to at least show an interest in what else is out there for him.

I think that two sides in London; Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur could do with an attacker of Merten’s calibre.

Anyone who has seen the Gunners this term will understand they still need more creativity and players that can turn it on in the big games.

If they lose Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil next June for nothing (it looks extremely likely), then they will need a readymade replacement to come in and become a game changer.

Tottenham have a wonderful squad but they probably still need another world-class talent to help take some of the pressure off of Harry Kane’s shoulders. They will want another great attacking player to help them push for trophies in their new stadium in 2018.

So why should they chase internationalist Mertens?

Well the thirty year old is in terrific form. He smashed in thirty-four goals in forty-five appearances last term, that included an incredible twenty-eight in Serie A. This season, he’s already picked up six league goals in six matches.

Last night he shone in the Champions League against Dutch champions Feyenoord as he helped the side from Naples to  a 3-1 victory. Dries was composed to make the most of a defensive mistake to smartly finish one chance and then he provided an inch perfect through ball for Callejon to add a third goal.

The striker can play anywhere in the forward line. He might be small in stature but Mertens is superb at leading the line. He has great close control, loves to dribble and has the pace plus the brains to get away from his markers. Napoli’s number fourteen doesn’t mind getting into defender’s faces, he has all the confidence in the world and doesn’t mind taking shots on from anywhere in and around the penalty area.

It will be interesting to see how diminutive forward performs agains Manchester City in the Champions League in the next few weeks but I certainly won’t be surprised if he causes City quite a few problems with his exciting style.

Another big plus for Dries Mertens is that he can go out on the wings and provide chances as well as goals for his team. He has a great eye of a pass and players like an Alexandre Lacazette or a Harry Kane would love to have the Belgian playing near them. Last season he provided teammates with sixteen assists!

Yes he’ll be thirty-one years old next season but that means very little if he’s scoring for fun and impressing in Italy’s top flight.

Dries signed a deal in May, keeping him at Napoli until 2020 but that could mean that his club could be tempted to sell next summer as he enters the last two years of his contract especially if a hefty bid comes in. It could be all down to the player if he leaves the San Paolo.

It should be noted that Napoli supremo De Laurentiis stated that his maestro was keen to insert a release clause into that new improved contract:

“Dries will stay with us for a few more years, unless of course he wants to go to China and next year someone pays the release clause that he wanted introduced and I cannot refuse.”

Clubs like Arsenal and Spurs should go all out and try and persuade the Belgian hitman that he can  spearhead their frontline and help them challenge for trophies!

Leave a Reply