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Reds to Rescue Insigne?

The Napoli attacker is reportedly looking for a way out.

SSC Napoli v Bologna FC - Serie A
He’s a hugger!
Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Liverpool are - as Jürgen Klopp would put it - in a good moment. Currently on a 10-game unbeaten streak, joint top of the Premier League table on points, and sporting a roster nearly untouched by injuries, things are going well. Wizened fans know that this is merely a trick of the football gods, a momentary whiff of hope to make the coming, agonizing descent into non-CL status all the more devastating. Nonetheless, pubs, punditry tables and podcast studios are right this moment foolishly abuzz with conversations regarding Liverpool's status as a Champion's League quality team and dark horse title contender.

A point that gets brought up with regularity is the fact that the Reds spent no money in the summer, and as a result, have funds available should they choose to add to the squad in the January transfer window. Although Klopp has shown a willingness to - and perhaps preference for - building a squad with lesser funds and developing players on hand, one should never discount the notion that the availability of a quality player might make the man consider his frugal ways.

In Lorenzo Insigne, Klopp might have just such a player. Coming off a tremendous season where he scored or assisted a goal every 117 minutes - which would've been good for third best in the Premier League - as Napoli took second place in the Serie A, Insigne has endured a difficult start in Maurizio Sarri's second season. The signing of Arkadiusz Milik and preference of Dries Mertens in the left inside forward slot has seen Insigne drop to the bench far more often than was the case last year, and a contract dispute has seen the Napoli youth product fall out of favour with his hometown fans, coming to a head when the striker was booed for missing a penalty against Beşiktaş last week.

A whirlwind of quick feet, tricksy turns, nutmegs, and just all of the backheels, the 25-year old is not all show; since his Serie A debut in 2012 he has averaged a goal or assist every 168 minutes - an output similar to Philippe Coutinho - while attacking mainly from the left wing, but also contributing from the opposite wing, as well as behind the striker. He possesses terrific speed, the tenacity you'd expect from a Napoli native, and a Luis Suarez-like penchant for maintaining possession in traffic. A cultured right foot and superb vision provides him with a dimension that's often lacking in dribblesome wingers. His tattoos are plentiful and his hair game is... interesting.

The eternal caveat of players transitioning from Serie A to the Premier League remains, of course, and questions about the suitability of his 5'4" frame in English football are valid. His £100k wage demands won't scare Liverpool off, but Napoli's supposed asking price of €50m might just.

In the end, this is most likely an agent attempting to gain leverage in a contract negotiation, but Insigne's quality is sufficient that this is a situation worth monitoring over the next few months.

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