Napoli forward Manolo Gabbiadini leapt to the defence of embattled team-mate Gonzalo Higuain, whom he described as “untouchable” amid interest from elsewhere.
Higuain, who came under fire for his international performances following Argentina’s defeat to Chile in the Copa America final earlier in July, has been linked with a move away from Naples in recent months.
Premier League duo Manchester United and Arsenal have emerged as possible destinations after Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said the 27-year-old will be sold if his release clause is met.
However, forward partner Gabbiadini urged Napoli not to sell Higuain, despite the latter’s inconsistency in front of goal.
“They say a lot of things about Gonzalo,” Gabbiadini told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.
“We shouldn’t forget the number of decisive goals he scored. ‘Pipita’ is untouchable, we must keep him here.
“He should take penalties, despite his misses over the last period.”
Higuain, who missed four penalties in Serie A, scored 18 goals in 37 league appearances last season as Napoli narrowly missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification to Lazio, finishing fifth.