Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti has sung the praises of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and stressed the importance that he holds for the Partenopei at the moment.
The Azzurri faced Villarreal in a friendly on Saturday and despite not looking at his ruthless best, Kvaratskhelia still scored in the 3-2 defeat from the penalty spot.
Kvaratskhelia is not yet up to full fitness having suffered an injury shortly before the break for the 2022 Qatar World Cup which caused him to miss three games.
Napoli’s difference maker
Speaking during an interview with Radio Kiss Kiss after the match against the Spanish side, Spalletti was understandably pressed on the fitness of Kvaratskhelia and it led to the coach speaking passionately about how key the Georgian 21-year-old is.
“He came on at a disadvantage. As the game went on he became more and more of a leader and we need that. We have to get him back into condition as quickly as possible because he makes the difference,” Spalletti said.
Not wanting to overload the developing star with too much praise, Spalletti was also keen to point out that Kvaratskhelia can improve when he does not have the ball.
“He did better in the second half. Sometimes he has to participate more when he doesn’t have the ball, he has to determine what the right moment is,” he explained.
Napoli thriving with Kvaratskhelia
Napoli are patiently waiting for the action to begin again as the Campanian side sit eight points clear of AC Milan at the top of the Serie A table.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is a large part of why the team has coped so well with the departures of players like Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Fabian Ruiz.
People familiar with Georgian football had suggested that he was a very exciting player, but no one expected him to get six goals and seven assists in his first 12 Premier League games.
He also scored twice and got three assists in five Champions League group games, and he has five goals and three assists for Georgia in the UEFA Nations League.
Everything about the player’s body language suggests that he is only focused on getting even better at Napoli and there appears to be no ego at all, at least not from the outside looking in.