Tuesday Feb 13, 2018. 14:00
Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri has backed Algerian defender Faouzi Ghoulam to recover from his latest injury setback and be “stronger than before”.
Ghoulam suffered a fractured kneecap last Friday, an injury which has since been operated on and will set the player’s return back a further month.
The left-back had been hoping to return to Napoli’s team for the first time since suffering a major knee ligament injury in November.
Sarri admitted that Ghoulam’s injury blow rocked his team, but was proud to see them recover and record a 4-1 win over Lazio on Saturday night.
He also added that the prospect of replacing Ghoulam is one he cannot comprehend, even with the solid performances of Mario Rui in the left-back slot.
"Replace Ghoulam? Do you think there is a player of his level who is unemployed? Rui shows beautiful things but Ghoulam is on another level,” said Sarri.
On the issue of the Algerian’s injury setback, the manager said: "I think he avoided the worst, since fortunately for him, the ligaments are not affected.
“After, I'm sorry for him because he has made many sacrifices to come back. Ghoulam is a mentally strong boy, he will come back stronger than before."