Victor Osimhen underlined his happiness at a growing Napoli and revealed that he looks to Didier Drogba and Harry Kane for inspiration.
Osimhen was involved in a training bust up on Sunday and has been recently called out by his in-law Mr Osita for not fulfilling a part of agreement they had in the past.
The troubled striker was s
The 23-year-old Nigerian striker was on fire last season under Luciano Spalletti, scoring 18 goals in 32 games across all competitions despite suffering an annoying cheekbone fracture half-way through the season. Osimhen has been linked with a move away from Napoli this summer, with clubs like Tottenham and Arsenal both reportedly keen at points, but now a departure seems unlikely.
Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Osimhen first discussed his happiness in Naples.
“I have experienced very difficult moments, even private ones, but Napoli has always been close to me and that is one of the reasons I am here. I’m happy, I’m in a beautiful city and a wonderful club.
“Naples is one of the best places to be a footballer: Maradona played here, the best ever, I consider it a privilege and a great honour to play in the stadium named after him.”
He touched on the Partenopei’s Scudetto challenge last season and the team’s chances heading into the new campaign.
“We were very, very close to the Scudetto, we gave our all to win it, but that’s football. It was and remains a dream, we’ll try again. Champions League, however, was also a dream and we achieved that.
“Few people believe we’ll be competitive for the Scudetto, and that is an opinion I respect, however, I think we can do much, much better next season than the last one.
“We’ll do everything to improve again, we’re very motivated. Napoli are still strong, definitely strong. I like to look at my team and I think they’re always the strongest.
“Juve, however, have improved a lot with Di Maria and Pogba, and then Inter with Lukaku, Roma with Dybala. We, too, however, have made great signings.”
The 23-year-old spoke about Napoli’s work in the transfer market this summer, losing key figures like Dries Mertens and Kalidou Koulibaly but picking up new arrivals like Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Kim Min-Jae.
“The team has changed a lot. Gone are Insigne, Ospina, Koulibaly, Mertens and Ghoulam, key men and great leaders, and I want to thank them, I adore them all and wish them only the best.
“But now there are other leaders, I am happy for Di Lorenzo, the new captain, and then there is Mario Rui.
“And by the way, new good, determined and technical players have arrived who will help us fill the void left by these great champions. Olivera, Ostigard, Kvaratskhelia and Kim will increase our quality.”
He touched on his future amid various transfer market rumours linking him with a move to the Premier League.
“I’m at Napoli and I have great respect for my club. These are just market rumours, I’m happy here and I’ve never had such close relations with everyone as I do right now.
“I spoke with President De Laurentiis, he is the one who decides, and he reassured me by explaining the club’s plans.
“I’m happy with what he told me and the signings are quality, words have been followed by deeds. I’m very happy to play with Napoli and in the future we’ll see.”
Osimhen gave his thoughts on coach Luciano Spalletti.
“He is a top coach, every day he tries to motivate me and make me make the most of the potential I have.
“I think he is the ideal coach for me at this stage, he is one of the reasons why I always give my best. I’m happy when he is satisfied with my performance.”
Finally, Osimhen discussed his fellow strikers in Serie A and who his inspirations are.
“Immobile is my favourite Italian striker. I like him a lot. Vlahovic is also very strong. Then Lukaku is back, there is Lautaro. And there’s me. It will be a good fight.
“Leao is fast, but I am really fast. Drogba is my idol, my inspiration, he has always motivated me to become who I am and one day I hope to get close to him.
“Today I am also inspired by Harry Kane, but there are many strikers around that I like and can learn something from.”