SSC Napoli of Italy summer signing, Victor Osimhen has not been included in the club’s squad list for their remaining matches in the UEFA Champions League, as he has been allowed time out to continue on holiday before eventually joining the team officially in September.
With a view not to rush Osimhen into immediately trying to justify his big money transfer from Lille Metropole of France, which was confirmed officially only last Friday, the technical crew at Napoli opted to leave him out of the squad that will resume continental action this weekend, though the rules allowed them to name new players into their list.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, while keeping want-away Senegalese defender, Kalidou Koulibaly in their squad for the final lap of this season’s contest in the UCL, Osimhen has been left out along with Algerian star, Faouzi Ghoulam, as The Parthenopeans prepare to tango Barcelona in the round of 16’s one-legged tie this Saturday.
Koulibaly, who has featured 33 times for Gennaro Gattuso’s team across all competitions so far this season, including six in the second-tier European clubs’ competition is the only African left in the 23-man squad that will aim to edge ahead of Barca this Saturday.
While Ghoulam will play no further part in the competition due to injury, Osimhen is cup-tied, having featured in the group stage of this season’s competition with Lille; which means fans of the Naples-based side will have to wait before seeing their new €80m signing, who netted 18 goals and provided six assists in 38 appearances across all competitions before moving to San Paolo Stadium in Italy from Stade Pierre-Mauroy in France.
The 21-year-old striker, who will now be expected to make his first appearance for Napoli during their pre-season games, got his UCL debut against Ajax Amsterdam of Holland last September and went on to score twice in five appearances, but could not help Lille progress past the group stage, even as he remained a key member of their squad on the domestic front before leaving.
This comes at a point he has gained more messages of congratulation over his move to Napoli, as four former Super Eagles’ stars – Emmanuel Amuneke, Finidi George, Patrick Pascal and Sam Sodje – have all expressed satisfaction over the lad’s mouthwatering transfer that made him the most expensive Nigeria player in history.
Leading the accolades is former Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Real Betis of Spain and Ipswich Town of England winger, Finidi (aka Finito), praised Osimhen for finally agreeing to join Napoli last week and expressed profound belief in the lad’s ability to shine in the Italian Serie A, where he believes the 21-year-old striker will not struggle to settle down.
Finidi told Brila FM: “It’s a good move for Victor. Every transfer has its own way of negotiations, but I’m happy everything went well for him. If he’s happy then we are all happy for him. I think Victor can adapt to the style of football in Italy as well and I believe he will surely do well.”
A similar view was expressed by Sodje, as the former defender, who played for Reading and Portsmouth of England in his heyday, posited:”I think it is a good move for him. He had a great season and I he’s gone now for a big-money move that will make him live up to expectations.
“I hope he gets his first goal very early because it will help him. When it comes to his abilities – I think he will be successful and I am so happy for him, the Super Eagles, Nigeria, and Africa at large to have a player to go for such a big amount of money I think it’s great.”
Same verdict was served by Amuneke, the ex-Sporting Lisbon of Portugal and Barcelona of Spain winger that coached Osimhen in the Golden Eaglets’ squad that won the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, where the lad emerged overall highest goals scorer ever in the Cadet Mundial.
The 1994 African Footballer of The year submitted: “My advice to Osimhen is to remain calm in all that he does. This is a very big move for him and it’s the will of God on his life. So he should remain focused and know that he still has a long way to go.
“He should always remember that this is just a stepping stone for him; age is on his side and I’m very happy to see him make this big move. Osimhen is one player that never gives up, he always wants to play and win even when all odds are against him. I wish him all the best in Napoli and hopes he finds God’s favour.”
Conclusively, former Wikki Tourist of Bauchi and Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan defender, Patrick Pascal, who was in the Nigerian under-23 squad that won the 1996 Olympic Games soccer event in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, added during Mega Sports on Star 101.5 FM, Lagos that Osimhen only has to stay calm in the face of pressure and he will surely excel at his new base.
Pascal, who is now team coordinator of the Eagles, said: “There will surely be pressure, so he should be ready for it. He is a good player, which is why they signed him. He now has to prove it by doing well for them and that means he has to score goals.
“Everybody is expecting him to do well, so he must stay calm and remain focused. I believe once he remains calm he will be able to do well at Napoli and he will be successful in Italy.”