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 By Ben Gladwell
Sep 2, 2014

Goran Pandev agent blames Rafa Benitez after Galatasaray move

Rafa Benitez arrived at Napoli last summer.

Goran Pandev's agent has harshly criticised Napoli coach Rafael Benitez, saying he is not suited to coaching in Serie A.

Carlo Pallavicino says he was the one who convinced the Macedonian forward to take a wage cut to join Napoli two years ago, and that he had felt his decision was justified until Benitez replaced Walter Mazzarri last summer.

Since then, his client's career has dipped, and Pallavicino has pointed the finger at the Spanish coach following the forward's transfer to Galatasaray.

"The arrival of Benitez to replace Mazzarri has penalised Goran," he is quoted as saying on gazzetta.it. "He's been marginalised and played below his best as a result. The Spanish coach is not suited to the Italian league. He's a fine tactician, but he does not know how to give his team a soul or team spirit.

"Pandev agreed to a reduced wage to come and play in Naples, under my advice and insistence. I was sure this city would give him so much joy and satisfaction, and that was the case."

Pandev made a total of 124 appearances for the Azzurri, scoring 22 goals. Under Benitez last season, he made just 17 starts, scoring seven goals.

Meanwhile, Benitez has made it clear that he is not entirely satisfied with his club's activity in the transfer market this summer. Moves for Maxime Gonalons and Marouane Fellaini broke down for varying reasons, with David Lopez arriving from Espanyol as an alternative.

"We were all in agreement that we would sign a big name in midfielder and in the end he did not arrive," Benitez said at a news conference. "David Lopez is not Gonalons, but he will help the team become stronger -- let's just not burden him with too many expectations."

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