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Benitez gives Insigne first-team hope

16 June 2013 19:10

Rafael Benitez has heaped praise on Lorenzo Insigne, and hinted the midfielder could be a regular for Napoli next season.

Under former manager Walter Mazzarri, Insigne only missed the final game of the season through suspension, but completing 90 minutes was another matter, as the young attacker played a full game in just six of his 37 league appearances.

However, the new Napoli boss was full of praise for the forward as he continues to excel with Italy's Under-21s at the European Championships in Israel, and hinted at a more regular role for the 22-year-old next term.

Italy have reached the final of this year's competition, with Insigne starting in two group matches and their semi-final win over Netherlands. He was the match-winner in their opening game of the tournament against England with a perfectly placed free-kick.

"Congratulations to Lorenzo Insigne, one of the key players in the Italian Under-21 national team," read a statement on Benitez's official website.

"You are now playing at another level. Hopefully you can maintain this momentum in the upcoming season and I look forward to meeting up with you in a few weeks."

Italy face Spain in the final on June 18, with Benitez sure to be a keen onlooker.

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Serie A table

# Team MP D P
11 0 +0 0
12 0 +0 0
13 0 +0 0
14 0 +0 0
15 0 +0 0

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