Osimhen at Napoli: Does he simply must run much less?

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There was one observation in Luciano Spalletti’s exuberant praise of the Nigerian that could make all the difference in the season ahead

If the quick double on Saturday’s 3-0 friendly win against Bayern Munich mattered, then Victor Osimhen got the feeling of something really monumental.

In the 2021/22 Serie A season, the center forward enters the most important phase of his young career, in several ways.

His decision to join Napoli last summer after an impressive debut season with French club LOSC Lille for a staggering effort that is considered a record for an African transfer was met with a first wave of optimism.

It is a sign of modern football’s obsession with transfers that status is granted based on the amount of transfer paid; for many, a change of this magnitude immediately shot the 22-year-old into a higher league.

What followed in the first year – a rash of injuries, inconsistencies, and a battle with Covid – showed how much thinned the air is at higher levels.

The uncertainty surrounding Gennaro Gattuso throughout the season did little to add to this, and the gleeful nature of the rest of the attack on Napoli also meant that he was fighting for serve. In addition to his own adaptation to Italian football, his team also had to adapt to him.

Gennaro Gattuso Naples Roma 03212021

Luciano Spalletti, a coach who has made it a habit throughout his career to get the best out of strikers.

While his profile – managing Internazionale and AS Roma, two of Italy’s biggest teams – has been an attractive signing for club president Aurelio De Laurentiis anyway, his work with players like Edin Dzeko and Mauro Icardi will almost certainly become a factor in his Favor.

Napoli’s European ambitions may be well-established at this point, but it’s not the club’s modus operandi to go for expensive goals – if they’re spending a lot, things must turn out well.

So it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see Osimhen’s flourishing as one of Spalletti’s KPIs in San Paolo, and the 62-year-old has already taken on the responsibility.

So far, the Nigerian international has been productive in the preseason, hitting seven out of three games to signal his intention ahead of the new season. The biggest clue as to what’s coming up, however, was Spalletti’s comments after the narrow test win over Pro Vercelli.

Luciano Spalletti

After the former Lille scorer scored the only goal of the game, his manager said on the Napoli official website: “Osimhen is a striker who can turn any ball into chances.

“He’s a generous player who runs a lot and every now and then this intense running can be a problem for him [to make] some mistakes, but he’s an important player, completely and we aim at him a lot. “

Aside from Spalletti subscribing to the “compliment sandwich” feedback system, this brief (but nonetheless insightful) statement highlighted perhaps the biggest change the Italian coach wants to make to Osimhen’s game.