When an Italian pundit Marcello Chirico, named Osimhen as the biggest flop in Italian football as early as November last year, many football lovers in Nigeria country disagreed with him. Osimhen was just moving to a new country. He is still young. He is still trying to fit into the Italian style of football. He needs some time. The excuses were endless. Big Vic as he’s fondly called, would dominate, he would score goals like Obafemi Martins, he would make headlines, and make Africa proud. The hopes were high.
But as time has passed many have begun to question if Osimhen was worth the up to 80 million euros Napoli paid to Lille to secure his services. He has barely had a real impact in the team, and definitely not in the Serie A.
Could this be the change of environment and lifestyle having an effect on his performance?
Has the most expensive African player lived up to the expectation?
The truth is that Osimhen has faced injuries and ailments since he arrived in Italy. But that is not enough according to his bosses. In fact, the Nation Newspaper reported that the management of Napoli is now concerned about the inability of the Nigerian to score any goal in the last 100 days. After the Napoli-Juventus game, Osimhen went to the Juve dressing room to meet players he had admired as a boy. But journalist Umbito Chiarielloa later said “Did Osimhen understand that he is in Italian football and that he plays for Napoli? Why is he taking pictures with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gigi Buffon?”
Harsh you may say. But that is the reality of “sports business.” His bosses do not seem to be pleased with him; and when you are not scoring goals, innocent actions can be interpreted negatively. Just like the end of last season when Iwobi was going on holiday after a poor season with Everton, and he got a backlash on social media. Osimhen is increasingly getting the same.
Osimhen Stats for Napoli as at Saturday 19th February 2021
Matches Played - 15
Time Played - 894
Goals Scored - 2 Goals
Assists - 1
Yellow Card - 1
Sending Off - 1
The truth is that Osimhen has not been up to scratch. Last season, Osimhen scored 18 goals in 27 appearances for Lille. Truly he has struggled with injury and coronavirus this term, but the fact that he was hyped and presented as a top-class elite player who would change things really contributed to the pressure he is under. Some might argue that Osimhen is not a complete failure. He has constituted a formidable presence and a threat whenever he plays, thereby freeing up his teammates who are in a much better position to score, and as a result of this, Napoli sit at 5th on the table with just 10 points adrift toppers Inter Milan, which is better than where they finished last season. But in football, strikers are bought to score goals, at least that’s how they are rated. The next 7 games offer Osimhen a chance to ‘redeem himself’.
Let’s take a look at Napoli’s next 7 Games:
Osimhen has to score at least a couple of goals in these games to prove people like Umbito and Marcello wrong. Atalanta have already beaten Napoli in the Coppa Italia this February and Osimhen is unlikely to find much freedom against them. Granada also beat Napoli in the Europa League and Osimhen will be up against tacklers like Duarte and Vallejo in defense. Benevento looks like an underdog at 15th position, and also looks like a team Osimhen can score against, as they are not as good as the previous two teams. Sassuolo are a resilient side just 6 points behind Napoli. This could be hard, but if Osimhen is hungry for goals, this is a side that he can outwit. Except Napoli can improve their form before the Milan and Roma game, the form of the Rossoneri and La Lupa makes them just too good for Napoli
Osimhen has got to start scoring goals, before he follows the turn of players like Hernan Crespo at Chelsea, Angel Di Maria at Man United, Morata at Chelsea, Alexis Sanchez at Man United, or even Andriy Shevchenko at Chelsea.