The finest striker or player ever signed by Napoli, for most people, would be Late Diego Armando Maradona, wall-timehile some die-hard Napoli fans still harbor much respect for the Uruguayan matador, Edison Cavani. Another candidate would be lined up depending on their loyalty towards the club or national team.
Francisco De Luca, the famous Italian writer, however, has his idea: he described Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen as one of the club’s all-time best and believes he could determine where the scudetbe will go this season.
Osimhen is certainly the man of the moment. Only last night, he scored a late goal against Torino to ensure Napoli’s fairy tale runs continue in the Italian Serie A with 8 wins in 8 matches. His dramatic 81st-minute winner against Torino on Sunday takes his goals tally to 8 to rank him among the top contenders for the season’s top scorer’s awards.
It was a strike that Ola Aina and his Turin-based teammates never recovered from. Scouted in Lagos where he later went on to win FIFA U-17 World Cup for Nigeria, Osimhen may look too frail for a striker, but for the follower of international football, his qualities and talents have been evident for years.
Osimhen had a humble beginning while growing up in Lagos just like average young Nigerian kids, but he has brought those values to his game, which is evident in his work rate and insatiable hunger for success. That explains why he broke through Royal Charleroi, Lille, and Napoli teams so quickly; that is why he progressed through the Nigeria national team so quickly too. He has the talent, and he is still work in progress.
A player who works so hard is worth his weight. But Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis knows better: that explained why he broke the bank to sign the Nigerian for a club-record fee of 70 million euros plus another 10 million in bonuses.
The grey-hair President had laid off former manager Genaro Gattuso to get the best from him a prized asset, and today he is beginning to reap the rewards. But it remains to be seen how Napoli will cope when Osmhen heads to Cameroon next January for the African Cup of Nations.
Until now, Osimhen’s major claim to international fame had been as the most expensive African player following his club-record fee to the Naples side.
But nothing stands still in football. Suddenly Osimhen’s growing reputation has progressed to another new level. Best striker in Europe? Certainly one of them at the moment. But the best is yet to come from him.