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Mertens frustrated by squad rotation

Dries Mertens is becoming increasingly frustrated Maurizio Sarri’s squad rotation system at Napoli.

The Belgium international has started both of Napoli’s Champions League group games this season, but has only featured twice from the start in Serie A.

Mertens has still managed to register four goals in eight appearances across all competitions this season, but the 29-year-old believes he needs more regular playing time to establish a better rhythm.

“When I played as a starter in both Champions League games I was very happy,” Mertens is quoted as saying by Het Nieuwsblad.

“But I’m basically only playing one of every two games. That’s sometimes irritating. I like it when you’re in good form, you keep going and everything works out well.

“Look at [Leicester City’s Jamie] Vardy who scored in every match last season and set a record [scoring in 11 consecutive Premier League games].

“With our busy schedule I understand you can’t play every game, but one match in two is, I think, too little even if I have to accept that too.”

And the forward hopes his lack of regular action at club level does not stop Belgium boss Roberto Martinez using him as Kevin De Bruyne’s replacement for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Gibraltar, with the Manchester City star missing out with a hamstring injury.

“It would be a disappointment if I do not start,” he added. “Especially now that Kevin is missing.

“Those two positions behind the striker I can play. At Napoli I’m on the left, but I come inside quite often and stay close to the striker.”

Thu 6 Oct, 2016
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