Lauded early on in his loan from Chelsea thanks to some good performances, Tiemoué Bakayoko’s form kicked off rumours that Napoli could already be keen on making the move permanent.
Those have since disappeared a bit following a dip in form from the team as a whole, with Gennaro Gattuso’s side winning just two of their last five league games.
One of those was last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Udinese, during which Bakayoko picked up his first goal for the club, helping out a strike force that has struggled to find the back of the net consistently of late.
This problem was pointed out by ex-Catania director Pietro Lo Monaco on Radio Kiss Kiss, who also took a swipe at the Chelsea loanee in the process.
He said, relayed by Area Napoli: “Napoli lacks a sniper in attack. The only one who could possibly be that is Dries Mertens. What need to I have to take Petagna if I have Milik and Llorente? Osimhen is not a thoroughbred goalscorer. I would have taken Suárez on a free. Napoli has only one player of crystal clear class and that’s Zelinski. Bakayoko is a farm labourer!.
“The former Chelsea and Milan midfielder is an honest ball worker, but he doesn’t determine the quality of the game. In midfield, Napoli would need important reinforcements. Fábian Ruiz himself is not a player you shape your team around. The important players make you win games. You have to take those champions who knows what it means to lift an important trophy”.
Lo Monaco then adds the likes of Thiago and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were free deals Napoli could have and should have tried to get, as they are currently helping their respective clubs push for titles and trophies.
A bit harsh on Bakayoko, though, who has widely been commended for bringing stability to Gattuso’s midfield, and was never a player who was going to be a game changer.