Two former players have hailed Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia following his excellent performance against Liverpool, with one backing him to move to the Premier League.
Kvaratskhelia spent time with Russian clubs Lokomotiv Moscow and Rubin Kazan before joining Napoli in July. As per transfermarkt, they spent £9million to take him to Italy.
And this transfer looks like a steal. The left winger has got off to a great start with Napoli and has been compared to one of the greatest players of all time – and club icon – Diego Maradona.
Kvaratskhelia played 57 minutes in the recent 4-1 rout against Liverpool, which got Napoli’s Champions League group campaign off to a winning start.
He caused Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez problems all night and chipped in with an assist for his team. Kvaratskhelia breezed past Alexander-Arnold before holding off Gomez in the box. He then picked out Giovanni Simeone, allowing the striker to score Napoli’s third goal with a simple tap-in.
Kvaratskhelia has been linked with several Premier League teams in the last 10 months or so. Tottenham, Leeds, Arsenal and West Ham have all looked into the possibility of buying him, according to various reports.
Former Newcastle United and Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate was on BBC Radio 5 Live commentary for the UCL clash.
He thinks the Georgian was ‘magnificent’, while also tipping him to feature in the Prem in the near future.
Pundits enjoy Khvicha Kvaratskhelia show
“I’m disappointed Kvaratskhelia’s gone off, because I was enjoying his performance,” Woodgate said (via HITC).
“His pace, his power, he wants to beat his man. He’s another one who you can see going to the Premier League in the next few years. He’s been absolutely magnificent, Kvaratskhelia.”
Prem legend Thierry Henry also sung the praises of the 21-year-old attacker. “He had an amazing game. “The way he put pressure [on Liverpool]. The desire he had, especially on the second goal,” Henry said during CBS Sports’ coverage of the game.
“I saw a player that it wasn’t just about his skill, but his desire he had and the way he pushed the ball past Trent Alexander-Arnold or the way he put pressure on Gomez, was second to none. I like that he has the awareness to see where Zielinski is and we know what happened after that with the penalty. It was the right decision.
“He’s been magnificent. The run and awareness. People will say ‘well what’s so difficult about that?’ Some people don’t see what’s happening on the field and his head was always up. This guy has that little contagious thing. This is why already, the Napoli fans are in love with him.
“Yes, you can be cocky. When you play like that you can be cocky. He delivered against Liverpool, as I said he’s contagious. He’s been there for a minute and the Napoli fans love him already. He has heart and skills.”
Kvaratskhelia certainly made a big impression during Napoli’s demolition of Jurgen Klopp’s team. He will be looking to continue his fine form for the rest of the season, which will only take his stock higher.
Spurs and Leeds, along with the forward’s other potential suitors, will undoubtedly keep an eye on his development.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if he did move to the Prem in the future. After all, Kvaratskhelia has already shown he can cause a respectable defence major problems.
Meanwhile, Richarlison admitted to having “one of the best days of my life” after his match-winning heroics against Marseille in the UCL.
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