Tuesday, 4th February, 2014

Napoli manager Rafael Benitz insists the decision to exclude Jorginho from their Europa League squad had been forced upon him.

Jorginho was brought to Naples from Hellas Verona last month despite the attentions of Liverpool and Fiorentina, on a deal running until 2018.

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The midfielder had been impressing plenty of European giants whilst at Verona and was keen to see himself play in Europe.

However, Benitez left him out of the 24-man squad announced yesterday, claiming Napoli's injury worries were a bigger point of concern.


"The rule says that you can change three players", he told a press conference today.

"Pablo Armero is gone [to West Ham], and there are problems with Giandomenico Mesto and Camilo Zuniga. I had to bring in Faouzi Ghoulam and Anthony Reveillere [in defence].

"[Paolo] Cannavaro went away [on loan to Sassuolo] so we needed another central defender. In the midfield we have [Valon] Behrami.

"If I had made other choices I would have risked ending up short. I was forced."

Napoli will take on Swansea City in the first knockout round of the Europa League, with the first leg set for 20th February.

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