Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri sees similarities between Marek Hamsik and LA Galaxy midfielder Steven Gerrard.
Hamsik has impressed in recent weeks for the Serie A leaders, scoring four goals and supplying two assists in his last seven top-flight outings.
Sarri believes the Slovakian is proving as influential as Gerrard – a Champions League winner in 2005 – did during his later years with Liverpool.
“[Hamsik] is a tremendous player. At the moment he looks like Gerrard from a number of years ago,” the Napoli coach said.
“In addition to the great technique, he also has great physical qualities. He is a dazzling midfielder, one of our key players.”
Napoli added Alberto Grassi and Vasco Regini in the mid-season transfer window, but the 57-year-old still believes there is room for improvement.
“We are a team under construction; we still have gaps and liabilities. If we want to grow, we need to improve these aspects,” Sarri added.
“We must always play football and we have to be less forgiving in some areas. We must always impose our game, when we become passive we become vulnerable.”
Sarri’s men entertain strugglers Carpi on Sunday before a crunch fixture against second-placed Juventus next weekend, but Sarri insists he is only focused on their next match and praised the work of Fabrizio Castori.
“Tomorrow we play Carpi, who are one of the fittest teams in the league,” he said. “With the undeserved [2-1] loss to Fiorentina in the 93rd minute, if we do not show a great level like we did [in the 5-1 win] against Empoli we could be in serious trouble.
“I am not speaking of the match against Juventus. Now I’m just thinking about tomorrow’s game. Castori has taken charge of the situation by transmitting an exceptional spirit – Carpi never give up.”
Napoli’s previous outing against Lazio was halted by referee following racial abuse directed at Kalidou Koulibaly, but the coach thinks he will be ready to play if called upon.
“He seems calm. The team is tight around he and he has responded well. I think that, given the opponents characteristics, he will play,” said Sarri.
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