With Napoli’s dramatic surge to the top of the Italy Serie A table in the 2022/23 campaign to take their first title since the 1989/90 season – and with a 16 point advantage over nearest chasers Lazio – fans of the l Partenopei have not had the same kind of domestic luck so far this year.
With the first half of the season dominated by a series of bizarre reports about top scorer Victor Osimhen and what the Nigerian international’s future could hold, with 21 games played they are sat in ninth spot in the table having gained only 32 points.
With the January transfer window wide open, the club are clearly looking to change that before the end of the campaign and have recently struck a deal to bring in English Premier League side Bournemouth’s Hamed Traore.
The 23 year old Ivory Cost international only joined Bournemouth back in January 2023 on a loan deal, that turned permanent the following summer – a five year deal reported to have netted fellow Serie A side, Sassuolo Calcio, around the £20 million mark.
He has not quite had the impact he would have hoped for though, with the midfielder only having made seven starting appearances for them, with a further six substitute showings – and he only opened his goalscoring account in their tie this season with Swansea City in the EFL Cup. Having not featured in the Premier League since late last September, his final game for his current side was in a late domestic Cup defeat to Liverpool back at the beginning of November.
A statement from Bournemouth announcing the loan move stated.
“Everyone connected with AFC Bournemouth wishes Hamed well for the remainder of the season.”
Having returned to the Italian game for the remainder of the current campaign, Traore will be desperately seeking match minutes to get himself up and running again, and he is not out with his country at the Africa Cup of Nations as he has previously spent several weeks on the sidelines whilst recovering from malaria.
Napoli announced his arrival on their social media channels, with the simple message.
“From Ivory Coast to Napoli. Welcome Hamed!”
It is not the only deal they have completed though when it comes to potentially clever loans, Aston Villa’s versatile midfielder Leander Dendoncker also joined the club on Friday.
The 28 year old, 32 capped Belgian international has gone on to make almost 40 appearances for the Midlands side since joining them from Wolverhampton Wanderers for a reported £13 million in the summer of 2022. His game time has again been more recently limited, and Napoli will be a good place for him to get a good run of games under his belt again.
There appears to be no talk of potential permanent options in either loan deal, but that is naturally something to be decided over the summer.