Mertens tempting Vermaelen

Napoli winger Dries Mertens admits he is attempting to coax Belgium team-mate Thomas Vermaelen to the Serie A club.

Last Updated: 24/12/13 at 15:15 Post Comment

Thomas Vermaelen: Being lured to Napoli by Dries Mertens

Thomas Vermaelen: Being lured to Napoli by Dries Mertens

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Centre-back Vermaelen is currently plying his trade in the Premier League with Arsenal but his compatriot Mertens is keen to see him make the switch to Serie A.

Following Arsenal's meeting with Napoli in the Champions League group stages, Mertens has led the calls to bring the Ajax academy graduate to Italy.

Mertens revealed he has spoken several times with his international colleague about the switch and claims Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has also asked him to tempt Vermaelen.

"I have already told Vermaelen to come to Napoli 10 times," he told Belgian newspaper Knack.

"The city is magnificent and even Benitez asked me to convince Vermaelen to come here.

"But Arsenal is a great club and it won't be so easy for him to leave."

Mertens joined Napoli from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven in the summer and became Benitez's first signing at the club, with the Spaniard assuming the reins from Walter Mazzarri.

Upgrade

"The club contacted me but also he called me about how keen he was to sign me," he explained.

"That played a role in my decision, a coach who really wanted me, a financial upgrade, a new league and the Champions League."

Mertens has scored just twice in his 22 appearances since moving to Italy but insists Benitez is playing a pivotal role in helping him to acclimatise to new conditions.

"Benitez was clear to me from the beginning," he added. "He told me how he wanted to play and also said he would like to rotate a lot.

"I had time to adapt myself, another league, another way of playing football.

"Benitez said from the start: 'I will bring you slowly, don't worry'.

"And that is what happened. Therefore I am not annoyed that I haven't played much at the start."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m only commenting on this (I don't care about Liverpool) because F365's twitter said I had call Matt Stanger a tw*t (which I don't agree with anyway) but I just wanted to be the first. Am I the first?

tk421
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

S

unday, Sunday. Will there be a fan of either team, who if they are winning after 80 mins, won't still be nervous? This could be anything from 0-0 to 5-5, and no one would bat an eye.

megabrow (cufc)
A Season Of Continuous False Dawns

T

his year I am getting F365 a whack-a-mole game but with Brendan instead of the mole (Like the one with JD on Scrubs) and every time he pops up he says something. Outstanding Whack!, Character Whack!, Magnificent Whack!, Wonderful Composure Whack, Whack f**king Whack. Hours of fun.

hump3.
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

Footer 365

Transfer news: Labour MP Iain Wright warns Hartlepool against signing Ched Evans

Labour MP Iain Wright has told Hartlepool to "think again" over their interest in signing convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Premier League: Neil Warnock blasts officials after Crystal Palace's 3-0 defeat at Man City

Neil Warnock said the decision to disallow a Crystal Palace goal in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City was "disgraceful".

Jose Mourinho rejects idea of retrospective action against divers

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says it would be a "disaster" to punish divers retrospectively.

Mail Box

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property