The agent for Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj has defended his client from criticism by noting he could have joined Chelsea over the summer.
The Albania international has been a locked-in starter under Maurizio Sarri for years, first linking up with the manager at Empoli in Serie B and helping the club earn eventual promotion to Serie A.
After Sarri departed to Napoli in 2015, Hysaj also made the switch from Empoli that summer.
Sarri was fired from the club following last season and after a contentious back and forth with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, was allowed to join Chelsea.
Though Sarri and midfielder Jorginho were allowed to go, De Laurentiis refused to sell any other Napoli players to the Blues.
And Hysaj’s agent, Mario Giuffredi, has rebuffed criticism over his client’s form by claiming that De Laurentiis is the only reason the 24-year-old full-back did not once again follow Sarri, this time to Stamford Bridge.
“Those who criticise him probably never make mistakes, but the rest of us are mere mortals,” Giuffredi said on Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.
“Without that clause he probably would have gone to Chelsea this summer.
“People forget that he was one of the best two or three full-backs in Europe last season. Then it just takes two or three matches for him to become a donkey.
“I always say to let everyone talk and then respond on the pitch.”
Hysaj is currently with the Albania national team, who will face Israel in an UEFA Nations League match on October 14.