Kvaratskhelia’s crisis worsens as Arsenal pursues target

Napoli sensation Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s crisis goes from bad to worse.

Amidst a disastrous run of form and a contract dispute, Kvaratskhelia has now caused controversy by responding angrily to being substituted.

The Georgian winger was taken off in the closing stages of Napoli’s 2-2 draw at Genoa as his side chased a late winner.

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He was not impressed with being replaced by Alessio Zerbin and made an angry traditional Italian hand gesture towards manager Rudi Garcia questioning the decision.

Kvaratskhelia was one of the breakout stars of European football last season during a historic campaign for the Partenopei.

Kvaratskhelia moved to Napoli from Dinamo Batumi last summer for €10m – and that proved to be the bargain of the season.

He scored 14 goals and assisted 14 in all competitions as Napoli won their first Scudetto in 33 years.

He delivered a string of brilliant performances, including tearing Juventus apart 5-1 in January and Liverpool 4-1 in the Champions League.

Kvaratskhelia’s bad run of form

However, Kvaratskhelia ended last season badly and that poor form has now spilled into the current campaign.

In his last 22 games for club and country dating back to March, Kvaratskhelia has failed to score a single goal.

He has also contributed just one assist in this time, including a 17-game stretch without any goal contribution.

The bad run continued on Saturday as Napoli continued their poor start to the season. They are already five points off leaders Inter after four games.

It has been claimed by some that Kvaratskhelia’s contract situation is a cause for his decline in form.

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The 22-year-old is paid a measly €1m a year, making him one of the lowest paid players in the Napoli squad.

There have been difficulties even setting up meetings to discuss a new contract, let alone agreeing on a deal that reflects his worth.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Napoli
– Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Napoli

Last week, Napoli issued a statement revealing there have been and are no plans to discuss a new contract with Kvaratskhelia.

Europe’s biggest clubs will certainly be watching on closely. FootballTransfers revealed in the summer that Arsenal are fans of the player, while Newcastle have also been reported as preparing a €90m offer for the winger.

The 22-year-old has also been linked to Manchester City this year.

But interest has now cooled a touch amidst this poor run of form.

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