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Osimhen begins Serie A journey as Parma host Napoli

Starting well’ll help his stay, says Esin

Super Eagles forward Victor OSimhen will certainly look forward to hitting the ground running when he files out with his new Serie A side Napoli when they face Parma. This is his first official match for the Naples side since making a record 70 million euros move from French league side Lille last month.

The former Charleroi of Belgium player has already showed Napoli faithful glimpses of what he can do after scoring six goals in just two games during their pre-season programme. Not a few pundits expressed reservations over the decision of Napoli to splash such a huge amount for a 21-year-old African player and it has been suggested that the striker could cave in under the weight of that huge tag. However, some people who have seen the striker at close range believe he has not only the physical and technical ability to make his stay in Naples a success but he will back it up with strong mentality which he has demonstrated everywhere he has gone.

Osimhen was bought by Lille to replace enterprising Nicolas Pepe who moved to Arsenal. Pepe was the star player for the Red Army and his shoes were considered too big for the Nigerian forward to fill but the former Golden Eaglets seamlessly slotted into that role and held the French club’s fans spell-bound throughout his stay.

He scored 13 league goals in an abridged French Championat but his overall performance for Lille made him one of the most sought after young strikers in Europe with the likes of Inter, Ac Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Tottenham making enquiries about him. “Serie A is a tougher league than anywhere Osimhen has played in but if you look at the way he has developed, you will agree with me that he can be successful there,” ex-international Etim Esin said. “I like the progression the kid has made in his career; I have liked him since his U-17 days and nobody would have doubted his ability considering how he set records in that cadet World Cup.

He has shown his ability but he has to remained focused. He needs to start early; if he can score on Sunday that will help him settle down quickly.” Also in awe of Osimhen is legendary Gianfranco Zola, suggesting that the Nigerian attacking ace has important qualities with which he can help Napoli to succeed this new season. “He will be among the protagonists if Osimhen also enters immediately; he has important qualities that were lacking in the squad especially in the counterattack. He plays very well on the offside.,” he said.

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