SSC Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen is in buoyant mood heading into this weekend’s clash with fellow-Nigerian forward, Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo (Simy) of Crotone in the Italian Serie A, as he enters the game with another milestone from international duty.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, while ‘Simy’ continues in the international wilderness, as he remains without a call-up since starring for the Super Eagles at Russia 2018 World Cup, Osimhen was in action against both Benin Republic and Lesotho, with a goal to show for his efforts.
The 22-year-old Osimhen has been involved in 19 matches across all competitions for Napoli, including ten starts, but looks heading back into the mainframe this weekend, after Napoli’s media unit released photographs depicting him back in training.
The photo gallery for Thursday’s session confirmed that Osimhen took part in the workout alongside his teammates and even completed all drills with the rest of the squad so soon after returning from international duty, for the first time after copping a shoulder injury against Sierra Leone.
Heading into Sunday’s league game, with both strikers seeking collective and individual spoils at opposing ends, as Simy is Crotone’s highest goals scorer with 12 goals, while Osimhen finished joint-top in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, with his opener against Lesotho being his fifth of the race to Cameroon 2022.
This past Tuesday at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Osimhen netted his fifth goal of the AFCON 2022 qualification series courtesy an assist from Kelechi Iheanacho, helping the Eagles silence Lesotho 3-0 in their last Group L fixture.
That meant the 22-year-old former VfL Wolfsburg of Germany, Sporting Charleroi of Belgium and Lille Metropole of France hitman had netted his fifth goal in five matches, to finish top of the scoring charts alongside RB Salzburg of Austria’s Zambia international, Patson Daka.
Napoli are preparing to host Simy’s side at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona and, though Osimhen has netted only three goals for Napoli since arriving from Lille last summer, the product of Ultimate Strikers Football Academy of Lagos will now rely on his goal and an assist in the two matches with the national team.
A report by goal.com added: “Osimhen opened his account in the three-time African champions’ 2-1 defeat of Benin Republic inside Godswill Akpabio International Stadium via the penalty spot, while Samuel Kalu sealed the comeback win in the 62nd minute.
“In the second game against Lesotho at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru, he found the net on two occasions as Gernot Rohr’s men sealed a 4-2 away triumph over the Crocodiles in the six-goal thriller
“His fourth goal came in Nigeria’s 4-4 draw with Sierra Leone at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City. Unfortunately, he was stretched off injured owing to a severe shoulder injury. He returned against the Squirrels, albeit, he could not find the net as super-sub Paul Onuachu’s last-gasp strike settling the low-scoring fixture at Stade Charles de Gaulle, Porto-Novo.
“Osimhen and Daka have returned to their respective teams as European leagues resume over the weekend. Unbeaten in their last six games, Napoli welcome Crotone to Rome while Salzburg host Sturm Graz on Sunday, April 4.”