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The Partenopei boss has hailed his star striker's efforts since arriving at the San Paolo and has ruled out a Scudetto win this season

Napoli coach Rafa Benitez believes that Gonzalo Higuain is loved by the San Paolo faithful after his excellent start to life in Italy.

The Argentine moved to the Neapolitan club in a €37 million deal from Real Madrid last summer to replace the departed Edinson Cavani, who joined Paris Saint-Germain.

He has since scored 18 goals in all competitions for the Partenopei, including one in his side's 3-0 Coppa Italia semi-final win over Roma in midweek, and Benitez feels the fans appreciate his efforts.

"We were able to limit Roma by expressing our attacking potential," he told Onda Cero, reflecting on the match.

"Higuain is loved and is making it big. Gonzalo arrived thanks to Cavani, otherwise it is difficult to spend so much."

Napoli were knocked out of the Champions League after being drawn into a tough group involving Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund and Benitez feels his side were highly unlucky.

"It was absurd to go out with four wins. It had never happened. The satisfaction remains because we showed our potential for the future.

"We are a team who are growing who have changed so much, so we need time tactically."

Napoli are currently third in Serie A after Juventus and Roma and Benitez admits that a Scudetto win seems unlikely.

"Juve are doing very well, now it's very hard to win the championship," he said.

"Our goal is to get closer to Roma. Roma play only once a week, which means a lot."

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