With summer on the horizon, Toronto FC fans not only have the beautiful matchday weather to look forward to, but also the arrival of the club’s latest marquee signing, Lorenzo Insigne.
The Italy international signed a pre-contract agreement on January 8th, 2022 in a deal that will see him become the highest paid player in TFC history.
Despite World Cup heartbreak with Italy in the UEFA play-offs at the end of March, Insigne still has business to take care of in his native land before making the move to Toronto in a few months time. Napoli is firmly in a fight to win their first Serie A title since the 1989/90 campaign, a feat that would end Insigne’s time at his hometown club in the most perfect way. As well as the title, Insigne also hopes to guide Napoli to their first UEFA Champions League berth since the 2019/20 season.
His side may be out of the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Europa League, but since losing the second leg of their knockout round play-off tie with Barcelona, Napoli won four out of five in Serie A to move level on points with AC Milan.
Moreover, Napoli’s fourth all-time appearance leader has his sights set on adding a Serie A winners’ medal to his collection, which would ensure he leaves Europe having won all there is to win in Italian football. Insigne and Napoli took home the Coppa Italia in 2014 and 2020, and the Supercoppa Italiana in 2014. A long-awaited Serie A triumph is all the Napoli captain needs to end his tenure with all three domestic honours to his name.
It is worth noting that in 2022, not only has Napoli seen an improvement in form, but Insigne has also been a more effective contributor on the goalscoring front. Before his move to Toronto FC was announced, Insigne averaged 0.26 goals per game in all competitions (five goals in 19). Since signing his pre-contract agreement, the forward has now averaged 0.45 goals per game (five goals in 11).
Out of the five goals Insigne’s scored since January 8th, four have come in Serie A, and one was bagged in Europe. Most recently, “Lorenzo Il Magnifico” grabbed the opening goal of the game from the penalty spot in a crucial 3-1 away victory against Atalanta.
In addition, TFC’s incoming signing has scored some other vital goals since he confirmed his summer departure, including the openers in a 2-1 win over Lazio and a 1-1 draw with Inter Milan respectively. Insigne is now also three goals away from passing Marek Hamšík to become the club’s second all-time scorer, another milestone he’ll hope to reach before crossing the Atlantic in July.
Napoli’s toughest remaining opponent in the league this season is arguably Roma, who are fighting to finish in the top four. Their only league defeat so far in 2022 came against AC Milan on March 6th, but since then, Gli Azzurri has recorded nine points from a possible nine and continue to keep the pressure on their title rivals.
On the international stage, Insigne is set to play five more games in June prior to making his bow in North America. Following the 2022 Finalissima against Argentina on June 1st, Italy will begin their 2022-23 UEFA Nations League campaign with matches against Germany (twice), England, and Hungary.
Insigne’s move to Toronto is getting closer by the day, and it’s safe to say that the TFC faithful will continue to keep a close eye on his form as he and his Napoli teammates head into the business end of the Serie A season.