Napoli acquire Alex Meret

Spal - Perugia

The departure of Pepe Reina, who could not come to terms with Aurelio De Laurentiis on a multi-year contract, was already certain for months, but it still took a while for Napoli to identify their new starting goalkeeper: in the end, the choice fell upon Udinese’s prospect Alex Meret. He was purchased for 22M and signed a five-year contract.

Highly rated for years in the youth system, Meret has played just two seasons in the pros, both on loan at SPAL, first in Serie B and then in the top league. He certainly confirmed his potential and showed impressive physical traits and technique last year. The gifted 21-year-old has also a lot of room to grow and so it is a forward-looking move for the Partenopei.

The one issue he encountered so far are injuries. He missed the beginning of last season due to sports-hernia and its long recovery from surgery, then went down late with a shoulder trauma. Obviously, durability is extremely important for such a position and the club will be hoping there are not any relapses.

Before deciding to push for Meret, the Azzurri had set their eyes on Bernd Leno, who moved to Arsenal, Rui Patricio, who transferred to Wolverhampton, Peter Cech and Alphonse Areola, but ultimately went with an Italian talent with Serie A experience, even if limited. They will get also a new back-up in the deal: the veteran Orestis Karnezis, who did not play much at Watford last season but had three solid seasons at Udinese before being dispatched too quickly to make room for Simone Scuffet, who did not pan out.

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