Maradona urges Napoli fans to support Insigne

The Argentina icon has spoken out in defence of the 22-year-old attacker, who has been targeted by sections of the San Paolo for some below-par performances this season

Diego Maradona has come out in defence of Napoli attacker Lorenzo Insigne, claiming the player has been treated harshly by some fans this season.

Insigne has been the target of jeers and boos from some of the San Paolo faithful following an inconsistent campaign to date, in which he has managed just one goal in 22 Serie A appearances.

However, former Partenopei star Maradona believes supporters should get behind the Italy international as he looks to improve his form for his boyhood club.

"Lorenzo Insigne? I really like him," Maradona told Il Mattino. "I'm sorry that the fans are booing him.

"I love Lorenzo - he is a street urchin. Fans need to understand that players like us, who are looking for the goals, should be encouraged by the fans forever."

Insigne, who has played 31 times in all competitions for Rafa Benitez's side this season, is currently preparing with the squad for Wednesday's Coppa Italia clash with Roma.