Football News

Koulibaly is “Europe’s best defender”, says Napoli teammate Insigne

By CJ Smith

Published: 17:17, 17 July 2019

Lorenzo Insigne has labelled Napoli teammate Kalidou Koulibaly as “Europe’s best defender”.

Koulibaly won more aerial duels than any other Napoli player last season as the Partenopei finished runners-up behind Juventus in Serie A once again.

Koulibaly’s Napoli future: Five key things to know…

  • Koulibaly has played 212 times for Napoli since joining from Genk in 2014.
  • He’s helped the club finish as Serie A runners-up three times since joining.
  • His form over the past couple of years has sparked rumours of a transfer away.
  • Man Utd and Liverpool have been linked with a move.
  • Insigne believes Koulibaly is Europe’s best defender and expects him to partner Kostas Manolas at Napoli next term.

The centre-back has also helped Senegal reach the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final and although he will miss Friday’s match against Algeria due to suspension, his form has seen him linked to the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool this summer.

And Insigne believes Koulibaly is Europe’s best defender right now, although he’s looking forward to seeing him form a partnership with newcomer Kostas Manolas rather than departing the club.

“Koulibaly is Europe’s best defender,” he told Naples-based radio station Radio Kiss Kiss. “Manolas is just as great and he’ll help us concede as few goals as possible.

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“Nor should we forget about the other excellent defenders we have, such as Chiriches and Maksimovic.”

“James has the quality to do well with Napoli”

Napoli are arguably the best-placed team to challenge Juventus for the Serie A title next season, although further signings will be required if they’re to finally end the Old Lady’s eight-year domination of the Scudetto.

And Insigne has welcomed the potential arrival of top-class talent to aid that cause, including Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez.

He added: “The doors are open for all top players. We welcome all of them because we’re a great objective for players.

“James is a real No 10, he has quality and he’d do well with us. But choices are made by the Coach and the club.”