Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen recently completed his €60 million move to Italian side Napoli, with Nigerian Football President Amaju Pinnick having tipped the youngster to make as big of an impact as Diego Maradona at the San Paolo Stadium. Osimhen was the subject of much interest this summer, however the 21-year-old eventually secured a switch to Napoli, in what was a record transfer for the Serie A side.
Pinnick now believes that the striker can make an instant impact at his new club, rivalling the performances of Argentine legend Maradona, who scored 115 goals in 259 games for Napoli during his time there. Widely regarded as Napoli’s greatest ever player, Maradona helped the club to two Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia success and a UEFA Cup win, meaning that Osimhen has some major shoes to fill if he is to get anywhere near his level.
Can Osimhen Change Napoli’s Fortunes?
Napoli finished a disappointing 7th in Serie A last season, and with striker Arkadiusz Milik believed to be on his way out of the club, the emphasis will be on Osimhen to score enough goals to see them return to the European qualifying positions at least. Even some silverware would perhaps meet the demands of fans in Naples, with bookie 888Sport having Napoli priced at odds of 3.25 to win next season’s Coppa Italia.
Nigerian Football President Pinnick stated upon Osimhen’s arrival in Italy that “I’ll say it now: Victor will do everything possible to match and even break the records set by a legend like Maradona. I talked to Victor just a few minutes ago, he’s very excited about his new experience and new club. Napoli is a big name in world football. It’ll be a new challenge for him, and he told me: President, I’ll make Naples proud. If he gets the right support, I guarantee he’ll stick to his word and make you all proud. Believe in him, and he’ll help the team achieve their objectives.”
Osimhen finished with 13 goals for Lille in Ligue 1 last season, having began his career at Wolfsburg, following a spell at the Ultimate Strikers Academy in his native Nigeria. He first rose to prominence during the Under-17 World Cup in 2015, where 10 goals from Osimhen helped the Super Eagles to lift the trophy for a fifth time.
Napoli are believed to have fended off interest from major clubs in both England and Spain to secure his signature, with manager Gennaro Gattuso hoping that Osimhen can quickly find his form in front of goal, having scored an impressive 38 goals in his last two seasons with Charleroi and Lille.