Gennaro Gattuso took charge of his first Napoli match on Saturday evening, as the Partenopei hosted Parma in Serie A.
The former AC Milan midfielder replaced Carlo Ancelotti in midweek after the Italian was sacked amid concerns of him losing the dressing room.
Even before Ancelotti’s departure was announced, Gattuso had been tipped to replace the man he once played for, with Napoli faltering in seventh in Serie A at the time.
Who is Dejan Kulusevski? Five things to know…
- Age: 19.
- Position: RW.
- Career path so far: Brommapojkarna (2006 – 2016 ) > Atalanta (2016 – ) > (Parma 2019 – ).
- Key stat: Dejan Kulusevski (37) has created more chances than any other Parma player in Serie A this season.
- Did you know? Kulusevski, a full Sweden international, initially represented North Macedonia at under-17 level.
But the start of Gattuso’s managerial career at Napoli was not a happy one, as the Partenopei fell 2-1 to Parma, who leap-frogged them in the table as a result.
The game was dominated by teenager Dejan Kulusevski, who was directly involved in both of Parma’s goals, opening the scoring and setting up Gervinho’s injury-time winner.
His performance came after Kulusevski had been linked with a move to the Premier League, although not until the summer window.
Kulusevski, a Swedish senior international, is currently on loan at Parma from Atalanta where he joined youth system as a 16-year-old so would be unlikely to move in January.
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However, according to the Sun, Atalanta are keen on cashing in on the interest surrounding Kulusevski whose value has risen from £8.5m in the summer to more than £40m.
Arsenal and Manchester United have reportedly sent scouts to watch the 19-year-old play but the Premier League pair face competition from other clubs around Europe including Juventus and Inter Milan.
Kulusevski’s goal against Napoli on Saturday evening was his fourth of the season from just 23 attempts in Serie A, but he is more impressive as a creator.
In 16 games the 19-year-old has created 37 chances, with only three players recording a higher amount in Serie A. From these chances created, Kulusevski has recorded six assists, a tally only better by Lazio’s Luis Alberto.
Only Luis Alberto (11) has provided more assists in Serie A this season than 19-year-old Dejan Kulusevski.
And he's scored four goals. 🇸🇪 pic.twitter.com/3xy8ZKAX7l
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 14, 2019
However, Kulusevski has recently made it fairly clear his immediate future, and his attention, lies with Parma – a club he describes as perfect.
“I’m fine at Parma,” he said.
“I’m happy to be here, I’ve found the perfect club.
“The market? I’m playing well, so it’s normal to write about other clubs, but I don’t think about (a January move) because I have an annual deal with Parma.”