Undeniably, Napoli captain and forward Lorenzo Insigne is the main player Arsenal must be wary of during Thursday’s Europa League tie. Lorenzo is well suited to his role of left winger due to his outstanding pace, slick dribbling and sublime trickery – but can also operate at centre forward. Wherever he is officially started, Insigne likes to hover between defenders and slide between the flank and the middle, depending on how much joy he is getting in these areas. This is what could cause Arsenal a severe issue.
With Holding still out, Mavrapanos unavailable and Koscielny unlikely to feature after starting training again yesterday, it seems almost certain the centre back pairing will consist of the Greek beast Sokratis and the rather inconsistent Mustafi (Monreal would accompany them if we play a back 3). Bellerin is also out, so versatile youngster Maitland-Niles would have to slot in, making this a weakened backline. Insigne could find a lot of opportunities around these reserve players and it will take just one error for him to get on the scoresheet.
Insigne has been on form in the Serie A this season, scoring 9 and assisting 6 in 24 appearances, averaging a goal involvement every 1.6 games. His form has continued over in European Competitions, scoring 3 goals in 6 UCL games and 1 goal in 3 UEL games, proving he can perform on the big stage.
What is frightening about the Napoli side is that Insigne is only 3rd top scorer, trailing Milik (18 goals) and Mertens (14 goals). Despite this, Insigne remains the star player of the side- he has started more minutes than both of the other two and offers more than just goals when he is on the pitch.
If we can attempt to neutralise the threat of Insigne, whilst also juggling Milik and Mertens, I believe Arsenal will be in with a great chance to take a solid lead with them to Italy.