African players form an integral part of the Partenopeans’ lineup, but the frugal businessman regrets ever signing them
Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed that he will never sign African players again unless they agree to sign a contract that they will not play at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Napoli had three critical members of their squad out of action during the last Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Defensive stalwart Kalidou Koulibaly was in action for Senegal, Anguissa Andre Zambo was with Cameroon, while Osimhen was out, albeit controversially, due to injury.
During that time, the Partenopeans lost just one game- against Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia.
Nonetheless, the astute Napoli owner says that African players are never around, and he regrets ever signing them.
“I told them lads, don’t talk to me about Africans anymore!” De Laurentiis said as per Football Italia.
“I love them, but either they sign something confirming they’ll back out of playing the Africa Cup of Nations, or otherwise between that tournament, the World Cup qualifiers in South America, these players are never available!
“We are the idiots who pay salaries only to send them all over the world playing for others.” De Laurentiis said.
Anguissa and Osimhen are two of Napoli’s most important assets going into next season.
Still, it is not a surprise, as the AFCON has continued to receive bashing from the Europeans who claim that it distorts their seasons.