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Osimhen: Napoli forward is back with a bang but not missed while injured

Osimhen: Napoli forward is back with a bang but not missed while injured

It’s been two years since Victor Osimhen joined Italian giants Napoli from French Ligue 1 outfit Lille and has become a household name at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

His 31 competitive goals in 69 outings is a testament to that.


One big problem is that Osimhen has been blighted by injures for a considerable amount of time at Stadio Maradona. He’s had to deal with a shoulder and head injury for a good chunk of the 2020-21 season while succumbing to Covid-19 as well. A cheekbone fracture was Osimhen’s Achilles heel in 2021-22 and it has required he always wear a protective mask any time he’s on the pitch.

He was recently ruled out with a muscle injury which kept him out for more than a month. He however returned in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Ajax Amsterdam, coming off the bench, netting the fourth goal in a 4-2 win that has all but guaranteed Napoli’s place in the Round of 16.

During the times when Osimhen was injured, his absence was felt with Napoli sweating their chances in his absence. There was a tussle to keep him away from the national team as witnessed before the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations where the club did everything to ensure he was not on the plane to Cameroon to play for Nigeria even though the Super Eagles hierarchy were confident of having him in the squad. He ultimately stayed in Italy and his absence was felt as the three-time African champions crashed out in the Round of 16.

The mood in Napoli however seemed very positive in Osimhen’s most recent absence. The Partenopei have won all their competitive matches, including big wins against AC Milan (2-1), Rangers (3-0) and Ajax (6-1), all away from home. Some of the players that have upped their ante include Giovanni Simeone, Piotr Zielinski, Matteo Politano, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Giacomo Raspadori and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

Osimhen started from the bench against Ajax and even before Raspadori made way for him early in the second half, Napoli were already 2-0 up. Such is the brilliance and efficiency of the Napoli squad, its as though Osimhen was never in the team in the first place. That’s how confident the Campania capital outfit are right now.

While Napoli are did perfectly well in Osimhen’s absence which should be a plus for the club, it’s somewhat not a good sign for the player because it signifies he was not necessarily missed. This is not to say Osimhen is not an important player anymore. Far from it. He is still revered, evidenced by the roar from the home crowd when he scored against Ajax, and his talent is second to none. Not missing his presence still puts a slight dent on his value and affinity.

It is not certain Osimhen will be injury free from this point. He might be on the treatment table again and Napoli will be able to cope once more as they’ve showed in the past six games.

While Osimhen’s injuries show his dispensability by Napoli, albeit temporarily, it points to the possibility of him being sold in the near future especially if his injuries persist. Napoli are known to be hold on to their best talents, rebuffing offers from Europe’s elite.

For Osimhen though, if he can still maintain top form in the midst of injury spells, he just might be on the move to a bigger club. The likes of Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked with him and joining either side will be a massive lift for a career that still has an awful lot to offer.

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