Here is a brief FM20 team guide of the Napoli squad, their club structure, relationship any potential managers will have with the board, expectations and possible tactics any FM manager can use.
About the club
Napoli are a professional football club that ply their trade in the Serie A. The club have won two league titles, five Coppa Italia, two Supercoppa Italiana titles, and one UEFA Cup.
Napoli saw relatively little success in its early years. Napoli then saw increased success in the 1980s, after the club acquired Diego Maradona. During his time in Naples, Maradona helped the team win several trophies, which led to the club retiring his number 10 jersey. During this period, Napoli won their sole league titles, in 1987 and 1990. Following his departure, however, Napoli struggled financially, and endured several relegations, prior to being refounded in 2004.
Napoli now have stabilized, which has led to renewed on-field success, winning the 2012 and 2014 Coppa Italia titles.
By attendance, Napoli have the fourth biggest fanbase in Italy, and were ranked as the fifth highest-earning football club in Serie A. They are the fifth most valuable club in Italy, worth $379 million. Napoli are also one of the associate members of the European Club Association.
Napoli came close to winning the Serie A in 2018-2019 and eventually finished in the 2nd place. Naturally, the board expectations will be relatively high. They should be;
- Automatic Qualification to the UCL (top 4 finish)
- Make it to the QF of the UEFA Champion’s League
- Make the Final of the Italian Cup/Coppa Italia.
Additionally, you will be required to play attacking football by the board. The transfer budget when you initially take over should be minimal as Napoli have already spent heavily on transfers this season (Close to £120m). There is should be very little room for adjustments with the wage budget too and you will have to rely on the squad that you already have at your disposal.
Napoli have good training facilities and a good youth system that will churn out the occasional potential star player. However, you would need to improve this once you stabilize your position with the club.
Squad, Formation and Tactical Style
Napoli are a pretty versatile team with it comes to tactical style. You can use the vertical tiki take or the fluid counter-attacking depending on the opponent or how you see fit to line your squad up.
A 4-3-3 is the best-suited formation for Napoli considering the strengths of their current squad of players. However, you can also play a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-2-2 depending on how you wish you change your midfield.
A rough example of what your line-up would look like in a 4-3-3 formation is as follows;
- Alex Meret as a sweeper keeper.
- Konstantinos Manolas & Kalidou Koulibaly as your 2 centre backs with Koulibaly operating as a ball playing defender.
- Faouzi Ghoulam & Kevin Malcuit as the 2 full-backs. Increased crossing instructions to take advantage of the high crossing ability
- Allan, Fabian & Piotr Zielinski make up the 3 man midfield. Allan playing as the holding midfielder, Fabian as a playmaker & Zielinski as a Mezzala or a Roaming playmaker.
- Jose Maria Callejon & Lorenzo Insigne as the 2 attacking wingers with Insigne playing as an inside forward/inverted winger & Callejon playing as a winger.
- Dries Mertens as the forward in an advanced forward role.
There is also the option of using Hirving Lozano as a support striker or as a left inside forward for rotation. When you change to a 4-2-2-2, you can get play Arkadiusz Milik alongside Mertens.
1. Dries Mertens
Mertens is an experienced Belgian international who is versatile. He has a real eye for goal and has scored over 100 goals for Napoli.
2. Kalidou Koulibaly
Koulibaly is widely regarded as one of the best central defenders in the world. He is fast, makes excellent tackles and is one of the best one on one defenders in the world. He is also a massive threat from set-pieces.
3. Lorenzo Insigne
Insigne is the club captain and is a major attacking threat for Napoli. He regularly scores 15+ goals every season. His performances are vital in achieving board targets.
4. Piotr Zielinski
Zielinski is a very good playmaker with excellent vision and a passing range. He also takes very good set pieces.
- The quality of backups in the squad may not be up to the quality and could prove fatal if your squad is affected by injuries.
- You run the risk of some talents being poached by other clubs especially in search of higher wages.
Potential Transfers (in)
Napoli are not the best squad in the league with respect to squad depth, these players could be welcome additions to the side.
- Sebastiano Esposito
- Lorenzo Pellegrini
- Alessio Riccardi
Potential Transfers (Out)
These players may be surplus to requirements at the club or may not be of the expected quality.
- Jose Callejon
- Elseid Hysaj
There are a few exciting young prospects in the ranks who have the potential to be some of the best players in the league. A few examples are;
- Gianluca Gaetano (CAM)
- Ciro Palmieri (ST)
- Francesco Mezzoni (MR)
- Adam Ounas (CM, MR)
FM20 Team Guide & Tactic - SSC Napoli
To summarize, Napoli are one of the best clubs in Italy and have been very consistent recently. However, titles have been hard to come by, will you as a manager be able to turn this around in FM20?