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Rafa: Higuain Takes Napoli Up A Notch

Flush with the cash they received for Edinson Cavani, Napoli have gone on a spending spree befitting a manager like Champions League winner Rafa Benitez.

His brief stint at Inter Milan is the one blotch on Rafa’s copybook, and Napoli have backed him in the transfer market the way the Nerazzurri refused to.

When he took over a Treble winning team from Jose Mourinho at Inter, Benitez knew he was sipping from a poisoned chalice.

He said the players were exhausted, and some were past their prime, and the squad needed to be rejuvenated.

But he was refused major signings, was ultimately sacked, and where are Inter now?

Napoli realise they have appointed a quality, winning manager, and have backed him to the hilt.

Spanish internationals Raul Albiol and Pepe Reina have arrived from Real Madrid and Liverpool, highly-rated Belgian Dries Mertens from PSV, and Gonzalo Higuain was also signed from Madrid, wrenched from the clutches of Arsenal.

Four top quality players have arrived for the price of one, with more signings on Napoli’s agenda.

And Rafa suggests that by signing players as good as Higuain, Napoli have taken themselves to a higher level.

"We were looking for a quality player. We were looking for someone playing at the highest level,” the Spaniard said of Higuain to Corriere dello Sport.

"We have signed a player who comes from Real Madrid and we have signed a striker who has scored a hatful of goals and who will adapt very well to our system - an attacking system. We needed a player like this.

"We are all working together to ensure the players we want arrive. We have to sign players who will do well for Napoli for the next three or four years."

Napoli finished the Serie A in second place last season, and are determined to push for honours this time around, both at home and in the Champions League.

And with his new weapons, Rafa thinks Napoli are poised to compete strongly at the highest level.

"Players who come from clubs like Real, PSV and Liverpool can only do us good," Benitez said.

"We have a great squad already, Mazzarri did great work, but we can move forward. For Napoli these signings represent a quantum leap."

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