Spain’s veteran, Pepe Reina, suggests that Piotr Zielinski should be playing for one of LaLiga’s two biggest sides. Piotr Zielinski is an exceptional player who, according to Pepe Reina, should be playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Since joining from Empoli in 2016, Napoli midfielder Zielinski has prospered for the Partenopei.
Only forward Jose Callejon (63) and Lorenzo Insigne (86) created more chances for the club last season in Serie A than Zielinski (53), except Fabian Ruiz and Giovanni Di Lorenzo making more passes than any team-mate.
In 2019-20, Toni Kroos (60) was the only midfielder for Barca or Madrid who created more possibilities for goalscoring than international Poland.
Reina, Zielinski’s team-mate in Naples for two years, does not doubt that the player is good enough for one of Spain’s two biggest clubs.
“I’ve got a Zielinski crush!” he told Cadena SER. “He is a player from Real Madrid or Barcelona. He is out of the ordinary.”
Reina, who last season was on loan at Aston Villa in Milan, is now with Lazio as he begins his 20-year senior football career.
The 38-year-old thinks that David de Gea of Manchester United is currently the best choice for Spain’s Luis Enrique, but he claims that there is an unfair bias towards older players relative to the mentality in Italy.
“De Gea is the one with the most playing consistency, and for me, it has to be that way,” said Reina.
Luis Enrique has a choice of young goalkeepers or 38-year-old goalkeepers with more experience.
David has the experience that will make him the most prepared, for sure. Due to the signing of Mendy, Kepa [Arrizabalaga] is going through a worse time. We also have [Sergio] Asenjo, [Fernando] Pacheco … There are plenty of names here.
“Spain’s culture is that a 38-year-old player is seen in Italy as much older than he is. Reverence is different here. They see you as an older player in Spain.”