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Sports News of Friday, 15 April 2022


Transfer: Why staying at Napoli should be non-negotiable for Osimhen

Victor Osimhen Victor Osimhen

Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen has hit a rich vein of form and is a reported transfer interest from many clubs abroad.

The Super Eagles attacker has been linked with Newcastle Utd in the past, but Napoli didn’t sanction a move as the player was also uninterested at the time.

The ongoing season is almost coming to an end and the paper mills are out again as rumours make the rounds about players’ movement.

Osimhen expectedly is one of the hottest strikers in Europe at the moment, having scored 5 goals and assisted one in his last three games for Napoli.

There have also been reports that Napoli will not listen to offers of less than €100m, an amount high enough to trump what I Partenopei paid for the attacker two seasons ago.

Osimhen’s time at Napoli so far has been full of ups and downs, as he has dealt with injuries and a new system of football.

In his first season, he played 24 games in the Serie A, scoring 10 goals and assisting 1 but this season, he has so far managed 21 games out of a possible 32 and has scored 12 goals and assisted 4.

The Nigerian is settling into the club better, and making the city his. He’s highly-rated by Napoli fans and is revered by many voices of reason in Italian football at the moment.

Osimhen’s agent, Roberto Calenda dismissed possibilities of an exit when he spoke with the Italian media and said his client is more than happy to continue in Naples.

Giving Calenda’s words any iota of special consideration or respect will however be foolhardy as agents and players make sharp turns in minutes.

Technically, Osimhen is playing in a big club, and is fighting for trophies. His absence this season has partly affected Napoli’s chase to win the elusive third Serie A title. Pundits in the country believe if the team plays better around the Nigerian and a solid cast is formed behind him, Napoli may have a great title-winning squad.

With Napoli, Osimhen also has another opportunity to play in the Champions League, the biggest stage for a football club and where every player of respectable dreams wants to showcase their talent.

The attacker is not new to the competition but a lot has changed since the last time he played in the Champions League with Lille. He has improved and matured as a footballer and has his career better managed.

He works with a team of advisers now and there may not be hasty decisions made on his future. His name is a selling point and it’s not impossible to see him linked with Premier League clubs at the moment.

With Manchester United and Arsenal reportedly interested in his services, Osimhen may have his head turned by the allure of money from England, less than what both teams will give him in love and time.

At Napoli, he’s playing under a manager who trusts him and has formed a system around his strength, and at both clubs in England, he will be getting into new systems where he has to learn again.

His style may be suited to what Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is yearning for, in terms of an attacker than can link up play and score goals, but in a league as difficult as the Premier League, Osimhen will have his hands full. The pressure of expectations are also attached to making such moves at the moment.

Manchester United are likely to undergo a transition at the end of the season and it won’t be strange to see new names at Old Trafford. These new players must however hit the ground running as the team has struggled for long and fans can’t wait for acclimatisation.

Osimhen will always be a subject of interest, like every young, impressive attacker in Europe, but his career at the moment will be done a world of good if he stays at Napoli, enjoy the love and respect of the fans and help the team achieve its aims. If his performances improve, a Premier League move will always be on the cards. That’s the end game, after all.

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