Napoli have made quite a splash in the transfer market so far, bringing in four new players to the Serie A club.

Benitez is also looking to bring in Pepe Reina, on loan from Liverpool and Gonzalo Higuain as a big money replacement for Edinson Cavani.

Add to those the likes of Jose Callejon, Raul Albiol and Dries Mertens, on paper, he is building a side with the requisite squad depth to compete on three fronts this season.

Unfortunately, he seems to have forgotten that Spanish players have never really made an impact in Serie A. Italy's top flight has seen many world class Spanish footballers over the years, including the likes of Pep Guardiola, Gaizka Mendieta and Diego Tristan but you have to go back to the days of Inter's in the 1960s to find a player who has set the country alight.

Of course, with Spain's financial troubles, clubs around Europe have been quick to strip La Liga of its best players, and even smaller clubs, such as Swansea City, have reaped the benefits. Many Spanish players have become successes in Germany too, following in the footsteps of Raul among others.

It is England though, where many Spaniards have found a second home. Indeed, nearly every Premier League club has a Spanish representative if not more. Stars such as Santi Cazorla, Juan Mata, David Silva and Mikel Arteta are flourishing in the fast and physical English game and yet the same cannot be said of their counterparts in Serie A.

One would think that the climate, language and culture in Italy would suit Spanish players perfectly - and, indeed, they probably do - but it is on the field where they have had trouble.

Bojan, Didac Vila and Victor Ruiz have all struggled in recent years and you have to question whether this year's crop will do any better. Fernando Llorente was a goal machine in Spain, while Joaquin has terrorised fullbacks in La Liga for years but the question is not whether they are good players but whether they are suited to Italy's more patient attacking play.

Many still portray Italian football as defensive and boring and, while it may not be played at the frenetic pace of the Premier League, it is certainly not defensive. Italian players have similar technique to their neighbours across the Mediterranean, so it should, on paper, play to Spanish strengths.

Maybe times are starting to change. Borja Valero had a fantastic season for Fiorentina last season and certainly, one can imagine Joaquin having a similar impact alongside players like Giuseppe Rossi, who was a major success in Spain. Likewise, Pedro Obiang of Sampdoria, has been attracting attention for the last few seasons, all of which suggests that Spanish players can flourish but that they often don't, at least, not until now.

It is entirely possible that Benitez has noticed that the trend is shifting and that Serie A is becoming more amenable to Spanish players but there are too many failures in recent times to suggest that players such as Valero and Obiang are anything more than exceptions to the rule. Both Callejon and Raul Albiol are talented but they have not been first team regulars for over a year and, given their success in recent years, Napoli has become a demanding club and the fans will expect results, especially after the worrying departure of their best player.

Yes, Napoli have a lot of money to spend but they need to spend it wisely, not risk throwing it away.

 That, in itself, begs the question: why haven't they recruited more players based in Serie A, or who at least have experience of it? Higuain (should he sign) would be a fantastic addition, as Argentines have always blossomed in Italy. Dries Mertens has been fantastic in Holland but his arrival as a left-winger, while adding much-needed depth, must not push the talented Insigne out of the side. It is the Spanish additions that leave me scratching my head because, for the £12 million spent on Albiol, they could have bought the Serie A ready Davide Astori.

So too, for the £9 million spent on Callejon, someone like Alessio Cerci could have been brought in. In fact, with the money brought in from the sale of Cavani and Lavezzi (the year before), they should be aiming even higher.

Higuain is the sort of player that the club needs but why stop there? Eduardo Salvio, Marco Verratti, Alan Dzagoev, Mamadou Sakho, Bernard, Dede– these are all young players that could become stars at the San Paolo. Of course, they would not come cheap but their talent is undeniable. Verratti, in particular, would be a wonderful addition alongside Inler. So too, Bernard or Salvio, would be far better on the right than Callejon.

It seems as though Benitez believes that Spanish players would best fit the system and style he wants to play. The Spanish coach has always played counterattacking football and this fits in well with the Napoli of recent years. I also imagine that these Spanish players will form the backbone of his team and be his eyes and ears in the locker room. Much like the Portuguese players at Real Madrid under Mourinho, Benitez will expect them to be the loyalists, his devout supporters in the dressing room and his key players on it. Of course, as we learnt from Real Madrid last season, when things start to unravel, even your fellow countrymen can turn on you.

That's why it is best for both him and Napoli to find players who are less of a risk. Higuain would be a good start.

 

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