Piotr Zielinski is an exceptional player, according to Pepe Reina, should be playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Since joining from Empoli in 2016 and agreeing to a new four-year deal in August, Napoli midfielder Zielinski has flourished for the Partenopei.

Only forward Jose Callejon (63) and Lorenzo Insigne (86) created more chances for the club last season in Serie A than Zielinski (53), except Fabian Ruiz and Giovanni Di Lorenzo making more passes than any team-mate.

In 2019-20, Toni Kroos (60) was the only midfielder for Barca or Madrid who created more possibilities for goalscoring than international Poland.

Reina, a two-year Zielinski teammate in Naples, does not doubt that the player, who was previously affiliated with the former Liverpool goalkeeper’s club, is good enough to play for one of the two biggest clubs in Spain.

Is there a player who has shocked me for the better? There’s a player I’ve been in love with since I first saw him, “he told Cadena SER,” the Napoli midfielder Zielinski.

“He is a player from Real Madrid or Barcelona. He is out of the ordinary.”

Reina, who was on loan from AC Milan last season at Aston Villa, is now with Lazio as he starts his 20-year senior football career.

The 38-year-old claims that David de Gea of Manchester United is the better choice for Luis Enrique’s Spanish side ahead of out-of-favor Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, but he believes that there is an unfair bias towards older players relative to the mindset in Italy.

“De Gea is the one with the most playing consistency, and for me, it has to be that way,” said Reina.


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