Victor Osimhen: New Napoli Coach Confident in Striker, Backs Return to Form for Nigerian Ace

Victor Osimhen: New Napoli Coach Confident in Striker, Backs Return to Form for Nigerian Ace

Robert Abong'o
updated at February 27, 2024 at 6:53 AM
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  • New Napoli boss, Francesco Calzona, has backed Victor Osimhen to return to form
  • The Nigerian led his country to the Africa Cup of Nations 2023 final in Ivory Coast
  • The Super Eagles forward boasts eight goals in 14 Serie A appearances this season

Napoli's new head coach, Francesco Calzona, has addressed concerns over Victor Osimhen's recent dip in form.

Attributing the striker's quiet performances of late to fatigue, the manager expressed confidence in his ace's ability to return to peak condition.

Osimhen, who recently returned from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, found the net for a second straight game against Cagliari on February 25.

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen scores against Cagliari. Photo: Alessandro Tocco.
Victor Osimhen scores for Napoli against Cagliari on February 25, 2024. Photo: Alessandro Tocco.
Source: Getty Images

However, the striker's goal wasn't enough to secure victory for last season's Serie A champions, who settled for a 1-1 draw at the Sardegna Arena.

Commenting on Osimhen's current form, Calzona said, as quoted by Complete Sports:

"He was only tired. Victor is a fantastic guy. He scored two goals in two matches and will slowly get back in shape. Don’t forget he played at AFCON. Players are devastated when they return. He was tired also against Barcelona, but players always want to stay on the pitch."

Osimhen's goal against Cagliari took his tally to eight in 14 Serie A appearances this season, with an additional two in the UEFA Champions League campaign.

The match also marked Calzona's debut since taking over from Walter Mazzarri.

The change in managers was motivated by the team's dismal run, having only won four of its 12 Serie A games under Mazzari and consequently falling to ninth in the table, as reported by Goal.

Where will Osimhen play next?

As speculation mounts regarding Osimhen's future during the upcoming summer transfer window, the 25-year-old has been linked with moves to clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal, and Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite PSG's interest, the Nigerian ace reportedly favours a move to the Premier League, which bodes well for the Blues and the Gunners, with his wage demands within an 'acceptable range' for all three.

Arsenal big contender to sign Osimhen

Sports Brief also reported that Arsenal remains a strong contender for Osimhen in for the upcoming summer transfer window.

According to seasoned journalist, Ben Jacobs, there promises to be a somewhat heated battle for the striker's services.

Sources close to the matter indicate that the Super Eagles striker is seeking an estimated weekly salary of around £250,000.

Robert Abong'o photo
Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team