Let’s face facts; Napoli have flirted with Serie A success for more than a decade now, but still a first Scudetto since 1990 has continued to elude them.
However, Napoli laid the foundations for a successful 2022/23 during the last campaign, as they finished third and just seven points off the top (while also boasting the joint-best defence in the league).
This season, Napoli have exploded out of the traps, winning nine and drawing two of their 11 matches to top Serie A by three points from defending champions AC Milan.
With a 100% record in the UCL, the side has also won a club record 12 matches in all competitions. But can they really end their 32-year barren run and finally lift the Scudetto in 2023?
What has Changed This Season?
Currently, Napoli are 5/4 favourites to win the Scudetto, with the Stake sportsbook offering some of the most competitive odds in this respect.
But what has changed this season? Well, the side has continued to evolve and embrace manager Luciano Spalletti’s aggressive and attacking playing style, while the club’s new signings have also galvanised an already impressive squad.
No single player embodies this more than the precocious Georgian star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has already contributed 13 goal involvements this season (seven goals and six assists) so far in Serie A.
This is more than any other player in the league, with the 21-year-old emerging as a talismanic figure who seems to have a prominent influence in every match that he appears in.
He has even earned the nickname ‘Kvaradona’, which is some compliment given the influence that the legendary Diego Maradona had on the Naples side and their last title win in 1989/90.
Make no mistake; the impact and unpredictability of Kvaratskhelia has added a thrilling dimension to an organised and committed collective, with each squad player combining to become more than the sum of their parts and embody the philosophy of their popular coach.
How Have the Other New Recruits Settled in?
Napoli sold a number of established players in the summer, including Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne, Fabian Ruiz and the popular Dries Mertens.
However, several new recruits (including Kvaratskhelia) have arrived in Naples at the same time, and many of these have been able to hit the ground running.
Take Korean defender Kim Min-jae, for example, who signed from Fenerbahce for just €18 million and has brought pace, aggression and aerial ability in abundance.
Striker Giacomo Raspadori has also performed well and introduced a much-needed goal threat, while on-loan Giovanni Simeone has proved similarly effective in front of goal.
Tanguy Ndombele has also become an aggressive powerhouse in midfield, with his ball carrying ability and creativity helping Napoli to become much more effective offensively and when in transition.
The Last Word
All things considered, Napoli’s continued evolution under Spalletti and an excellent summer of recruitment has left ‘Gli Azzurri’ in prime position to win this season’s Scudetto.
They also have the experience and squad depth to achieve this objective, while the lack of a truly outstanding domestic rival means that they have a golden opportunity to end more than 32 years of hurt.
Time will tell, of course, but it’s little wonder that Napoli’s passionate and long-suffering fans are becoming excited about what the current side can achieve in 2022/23.