Peter Galindo Date:24th April 2014 at 8:51am
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Last summer, two of Napoli’s most prized possessions were Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik. The former was sold for a club record €64 million, while the latter stuck around.

If Hamsik was transferred as well, he would’ve commanded a similar fee. Now his value has gone down dramatically and it’s high time that the Partenopei let him go.

In the 2012-13 Serie A season, Hamsik led the league with 14 assists, scoring 13 of his own. Napoli finished second in the table, nine points adrift of Juventus. Since then, Rafa Benitez has come in as coach to replace Walter Mazzarri, a wealth of players have arrived, especially in attack, such as Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon.

Neapolitan born centre-back and captain Paolo Cannavaro couldn’t earn a place in Benitez’s starting 11, so he left for Sassuolo in January. Hamsik was given the armband from that point on. He had six goals and zero assists by the new year. The Slovakian hasn’t scored since November 2nd, but he’s managed five assists.

Some say being captain and having such high expectations from supporters has weighed down Hamsik. He also suffered an injury that kept him out for around six weeks. However, he’s been back to full fitness for a while, it’s apparent that he doesn’t fit into Benitez’s system. Not to mention Hamsik is the captain of the Slovakian National team, so he knows what it’s like to be a leader.

Callejon has been one of the revelations of the season, part of that is his ability to cut inside from the right flank. That leaves the centre cluttered with Hamsik there. He’s a luxury player at this point, he isn’t a necessity like he was in previous seasons.

Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens do the same on the left. Higuain has also improved his off-the-ball attributes and has become a provider along with a consistent goal scorer.

Gonzalo Higuain Marek Hamsik - Napoli

Napoli could receive around €25 million or €30 million from a potential suitor. The playmaker would be valuable on the market and that cash can be used to bolster the defence and maybe find another defensive midfielder. President Aurelio De Laurentiis will surely give Benitez a sizeable budget for transfers, it’ll be boosted by a Hamsik sale.

Hamsik will be 27 in July. He’s in his prime years as a footballer, it’s not that he’s declined, he’s just not a focal point anymore and is surplus to requirements. Callejon, Higuain, Mertens, Insigne, and even Goran Pandev have been able to hold their own.

Fans may be unhappy about losing one of their favourites, but if the Partenopei improve their defence, which has made several mistakes this season, that’ll patch up one of the remaining holes in the team. If the deal is made and Benitez has a handsome sum of money to strengthen the back line and executes some moves, it’ll lead to a stronger Scudetto push which will appease the supporters. They’ll get over losing their prodigal son as long as they see trophies being won on the San Paolo pitch.