Mertens: I’ll always love Sarri

by | Jul 17, 2019 15:17

Napoli forward Dries Mertens has played down Maurizio Sarri’s move to Juventus. “I’ll always love him, he gave me everything.”

Mertens was close to leaving Napoli until he was revitalised by Sarri, who converted him into a central attacker after Gonzalo Higuain’s transfer to Juve in 2016.

“He coached me for three years, he showed me football in a different way and I loved it,” the Belgian told Sky Sport Italia.

Napoli forward Dries Mertens has played down Maurizio Sarri’s move to Juventus. “I’ll always love him, he gave me everything.”

Mertens was close to leaving Napoli until he was revitalised by Sarri, who converted him into a central attacker after Gonzalo Higuain’s transfer to Juve in 2016.

“He coached me for three years, he showed me football in a different way and I loved it,” the Belgian told Sky Sport Italia.

“I don't think Cristiano Ronaldo has much to learn, but Juve will have fun with him. However, I’ll always love Sarri. He’s someone who gave me everything,

“It’s strange to see him at Juve, but I have no problems with him.”

As a result of his change in position, the 32-year-old is on 109 Partenopei goals – just six behind club legend Diego Maradona and 12 behind all-time top scorer Marek Hamsik.

“I hope so, it would be a good thing. Certainly it’s an objective of mine,” he continued.

“With Sarri I was a centre-forward, but last season I played in a different role, behind the strikers.

“It wouldn’t hurt if another striker came in. Milik played lots of games last season.”

Mertens is entering the final year of his contract, so will he sign a new one?

“I don’t know, let’s see. I’m fine and I still feel young so we’ll see what we can do, but I’m only thinking about this season.”

Finally, he was asked about Kostas Manolas and Lorenzo Insigne, as well as whether Inter were right to pursue his international strike partner Romelu Lukaku.

“Manolas is very good, but we’ve lost Albiol, who was very important. Lukaku is very good.

“He’s still young, he wants and can still learn so much, so he’d be a great purchase.

“When the fans love you, it helps and makes your life easier. Insigne and I are different. He has a family, two children, is often at home and doesn’t go out.

“I go out a bit more, but on the field Lorenzo is very important.”

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