Dries Mertens is Napoli’s joint all-time leading goalscorer and has been consistent ever since he signed for the Naples-based outfit in the summer of 2013.
The Belgian forward will be a free agent this summer upon the expiration of his present deal with Napoli. With Mertens heavily linked with clubs in the Premier League, especially Chelsea, will we finally get to see the versatile forward plying his trade in the most decorated league in the world?
Dries Mertens has been a world-class forward for the past few years. The Belgian national team is home to some of the best attacking talents in world football with the Red Devils boasting the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Yannick Carrasco, Thorgan Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne in their ranks.
Mertens has been a regular feature in the national setup which is a testament to his talent. Despite his consistent performances for both club and country, his contributions have been widely undermined.
He was an integral part of Belgium’s third-place finish in the 2018 World Cup, but the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard were mentioned and credited more. Even at the club level, his value has not been properly recognized.
Mertens has been moved to the flanks or made to play through the middle to accommodate other high-profile players in the team. Mertens started down the flanks to accommodate Gonzalo Higuain and Arkadiusz Milik. He also had to play through the middle when he started with the likes of Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon.
However, Dries Mertens kept proving his worth through his work ethic, versatility and his sublime footballing mind. He is currently Napoli’s all-time leading goalscorer with 121 strikes to his name.
Ever since Mertens signed for the Serie A outfit, they have finished below the Champions League spots just once. Mertens has starred for Napoli averaging combined goals and assists ratio of 0.91. For his national team, Mertens has scored 16 goals in 49 starts, in addition to providing 22 assists.
He has also kept himself incredibly fit, missing only 16 games over seven seasons with Napoli. Now aged 32, he is definitely reaching the fag end of his career, but his fitness and versatility could still make him a valuable addition to any club at the moment.
Should Dries Mertens join the Premier League?
Dries Mertens has been heavily linked with a move to England, with Chelsea being the current front runners to capture the Belgian’s signature. Newcastle United, with a change in ownership, are the latest to enter the race for Mertens. The 32-year-old will be a valuable addition to both Chelsea and Newcastle as he can play anywhere across the front three.
Chelsea could utilize Dries Mertens through the middle or down the right flank with the likely departures of Willian, Pedro and Olivier Giroud in the summer. Newcastle United have had issues in front of goal this season, with their record-breaking signing Joelinton scoring just 1 goal in 29 appearances in the present campaign.
Football fans would relish the prospect of a front three comprising of Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Mertens at Newcastle or a trio of Tammy Abraham, Mertens and Christian Pulisic at Stamford Bridge.
Champions league football and title aspirations of Chelsea make them firm favourites to sign the Belgian this summer. English football will certainly pose a challenge to Mertens but with the talent and the experience he possesses, he will definitely be an exciting addition to the Premier League.
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