Napoli will take on Barcelona Thursday in one of the most-anticipated matches of this Europa League campaign, and although the Blaugrana have significant star power there’s someone on Napoli that everyone should be watching.
Victor Osimhen has become one of the elite goal scorers in Serie A since joining Napoli in 2020 and the Nigerian is paving the way for the club to legitimately push for a title this season.
Osimhen has 10 goals in all competitions, despite coming off of a nasty orbital injury that left him out for nearly two months.
The Napoli striker now has the chance to not only put the Italian side back into the mix in one of Europe’s top competitions, but he’ll also look to guide Nigeria to the World Cup when they face Ghana in African World Cup qualifying next month.
Here’s more on Osimhen and how the 23-year-old striker’s career is progressing in Italy.
Osimhen is one of many bright talents to come from Nigeria, including the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha, Obafemi Martins and John Obi-Mikel.
The young goal scorer started out in his native country with Ultimate Strikers Academy, which has worked with a lot of top European sides, including Wolfsburg, to send top Nigerian talents abroad.
Although Osimhen never had the chance to shine with the Bundesliga side he really began to thrive at Lille before moving to Napoli in 2020.
Osimhen garnered a lot of attention after the huge transfer fee Napoli paid the French side.
He’s since lived up to the massive hype and become a prolific scorer in Italy and that’s why Napoli are currently battling for the Serie A title.
Osimhen uses his big frame and incredible pace to boss defenders in, and around, the penalty area.
He latches onto long balls with ease and uses a strong first touch to break into areas where he can get quick shots off.
Napoli have benefitted significantly from his combination plays with Lorenzo Insigne and other attackers up front because of how quickly Osimhen makes decisions.
Nigeria severely missed Osimhen at the African Cup of Nations, but the timing of his return couldn’t be better with World Cup qualifying resuming in March.
Osimhen has a huge chance to bring Nigeria back to the World Cup if he and his teammates can get past a veteran Ghana side.
Many clubs have expressed interest in Osimhen, especially ahead of a summer where many key players will be moving around.
With Dušan Vlahović already moved on to Juventus there will be plenty of other young strikers such as Osimhen that will draw key interest around Europe.
If the Nigerian can finish the season strong, and perhaps with some silverware with Napoli, that recognition will soar over the summer.