Is it time for Sunderland to give up on Emanuele Giaccherini?

Emanuele Giaccherini is reportedly a target for Serie A club Napoli.

Napoli are keen on taking the Italian international on loan for six months, with an option to buy, allowing them to cover the loss of Lorenzo Insigne.

Winger Insigne had knee surgery earlier this week, and is expected to be out of action until the end of the season, and Giaccherini’s agent has admitted that the 29-year-old midfielder would be ‘flattered’ to return to Italy and turn out for Partenopei.

“Giaccherini gets on well in Sunderland, but he’s flattered by the possibility of joining Napoli and a return to Serie A is also intriguing,” Furio Valcareggi admitted to the Chronicle.

Giaccherini endure a tough first season in English football, making 24 appearances and scoring four goals in the Black Cats side who came close to falling out of the Premier League. Having struggled to adapt to England upon his arrival, the winger admitted in the summer of 2014 that he was starting to enjoy his life in the North East, but injuries have played their part in restricting him to just three top flight appearances this term.

The 21-capped international has excelled when featuring as a number 10 throughout his career, but Black Cats head coach Gus Poyet is unwilling to utilise a formation that allows Giaccherini to occupy the space behind the striker. A consistent 4-3-3 style has been used since Poyet’s appointment last term, often resulting in the diminutive forward being placed on the wing - a position in which his talents are not best seen.

Whilst he can feature in a central midfield role, his lack of defensive aptitude weakens the spine of the team, and, whilst the same could be said of summer signing Jordi Gomez, the former Wigan man has vast experience of the league. Giaccherini could take the role of creative midfielder in the centre of the park, but Poyet seems unwilling to test him ahead of the players guaranteed to put in good performances.

Despite being a talented player, Giaccherini looks as if he will never settle into the style required at the Stadium of Light, and his loss would not severely weaken Poyet’s first-team selections. With two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract, the Black Cats could be looking to receive a healthy fee for the Italian, and it is money that could be invested in strengthening the playing squad with players who want to be in the North East.

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