Frank Liivak is away from Napoli on international duty. The 1997-born striker has already played one of the two U-21 Euro fixtures planned for this week. The first game held in Tallinn on the 3rd of September, saw Martin Reim’s XI drawing with Bulgari 2-2. Frank played eighty-six minutes before being replace by Erkki Junolainen.
On the 7th of September, the U-21 is due to take on Slovenia U-21 in Rakvere. He will also allow himself one night in A.LeCoq Arena to watch the first team taking on Slovenia featuring Serie A acts Samir Handanovic and Josip Ilicic, who already has been spotting at the San Paolo.
After that, he will return to Souther Italy as SSC Napoli Primavera will take on SS Lazio in Sant’Antimo during the next weekend.
Upon his return, he will find two new faces in the strikers line: Mattia Persano (centre forward) and Andrea Cicerello (offensive flanker), both signed from US Lecce on deadline day. The signing of the two players was almost voided as it happened twenty-eight seconds (!) past the deadline. Apparently, the Lega Calcio (the Italian football authority) granted SSC Napoli a wild card to complete the signings considering the petty figure of their lateness.
The US Lecce academy has already been a lucky pick for SSC Napoli since Sebastiano Luperto (a defender) was brought in from there and he is already in the interest range of Rafa Benitez.
Both Persano and Cicerello are 1996 born.
A webmedia dedicated to US Lecce (Leccezionale.it) describes Persano as inspired by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish all-time top-scorer who is Mattia’s idol. Persano will turn 18 on the 21st and had as coach at the ‘Berretti’ team (age range from 15 to 20) Pedro Pablo Pasculli, former legendary striker of the US Lecce of the 80’s and Argentine international. Persano was Pasculli’s regular starter up front back in last season.
Additionally, Mattia Persano has had several chances to train with US Lecce first team, having also a model in Fabrizio Miccoli.
Cicerello is described by webmedia Alambicco.com as a polite boy with a lot of dreams and on the good way to realize them. As Persano, he had already joined US Lecce first team for trainings (the club is now in Lega Pro 1 - third tier). He can count on a famous debut with the first team as former coach Francesco Moriero, made him play in a Coppa Italia tie against FC Parma. ‘It was a great emotion to play on a Serie A pitch with Lecce’ recounted the youngster who valued especially the chance to train with the first team and have Moriero as a coach for a while. Napoli seems to be in Andrea’s destiny.‘I have become a Lecce fan when I was a kid as my dad and my uncle brought me to watch a Serie B game, Lecce-Napoli.’ Now he will wear the ‘Azzurri’ shirt together with Persano.
Cicerello debuted in Lega Pro 1 last Spring against Pontedera.