The coach has swung the axe on the midfielder for a poor attitude during a session, while he has little sympathy for Hirving Lozano’s situation
Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso has admitted that he dropped star midfielder Allan for “walking around during training”.
The former Italy international was noted for his all-action approach to the game during his playing days, and he was unimpressed when he saw the Brazilian giving less than his maximum during training.
Reeling off the list of selection difficulties he has ahead of the fixture, he threw in the surprise announcement.
“Arek Milik has a knee inflammation and needs to rest. Hirving Lozano has a muscular issue, Kalidou Koulibaly doesn’t feel at 100 per cent, while Allan didn’t train the way I like. He walked around during training and that’s not alright with me,” he said.
Meanwhile, the former Italy star has shouldered some of the blame for last weekend’s 3-2 loss against Lecce – a fixture in which a vital VAR call went against his side, prompting president Aurelio De Laurentiis to threaten to sue officials who are not vigilant enough when checking such decisions.
Gattuso, though, focused on his own decision to start Koulibaly after returning from six weeks out.
“Kostas Manolas had two days off because his daughter was born in Greece. I knew that Koulibaly and Nikola Maksimovic hadn’t played for a while, but they were training well. I know that I got it wrong, but I didn’t want to lose credibility in the eyes of the players,” he said.
“We are struggling to explain why we don’t play consistently. Individual interpretations are not enough, we have to approach the game as a collective.
“I get surprised too, I get nightmares because I can’t explain this situation. Maybe I can explain that we need to sniff out danger earlier. Maybe we think we’re stronger than we are and aren’t prepared to suffer, to respect our opponents.”
Meanwhile, he joked about Hirving Lozano’s struggle for game time.
“I have very strong players in attack and for example we have Fernando Llorente who deserves far more playing time. You talk about Lozano because he cost €50m,” he said.
“I make my choices based on how I want the team to play and have to put everyone in a condition to express themselves well. In Mexico, I am persona non grata because of that, but what can I do? I guess I won’t go back to Mexico!”