There appears to be a growing concern in Napoli about the current sidelining of striker, Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, over the spate of injuries that has seen him miss 55 games since joining the club.
It has also been projected that the forecast will rise to 58 because Osimhen still has at least three more matches to miss against Salernitana, Union Berlin and Empoli, Sports Village Square reports.
According to an Italian news outlet in Naples, Tuttonapoli, Osimhen also missed three matches due to suspension bringing the total to 61 missed matches in three seasons.
According to the publication, it was considered that “61 games is a lot for a player with a net salary of five million a year.”
It reasoned that Napoli paid more than a year of salary to Osimhen without being able to count on him, remembering that an average season has about 50 games a year between league and cups.
Osimhen is a repeat offender: according to Transfermarkt which gave a breakdown of Osimhen’s missed matches. The first was in November with the problem behind him in the national team.
He was out of action for 15 games. Then he missed six with Covid three more with a head injury in February 2021 and two more with a calf strain in October of the same year.
Shortly after, due to a fractured cheekbone against Inter for the clash with Skriniar, he was out of action for 12 games and missed two more, again in the 2021/22 season, due to Covid.
Last year he was knocked out by Liverpool: out seven games. He was also out in the spring for four games due to an adductor injury.
The last knockout in the national team: so far three games missed due to the hamstring injury.
For a total of 58 matches including the next three. In addition to the injuries, he also missed three matches due to disqualification. The total? 61 games.
Many, too many. Waiting to see if he will return immediately after the break and remembering that in January he will go to the Africa Cup of Nations and therefore will certainly miss other games. Evaluations are also underway for clubs that want to bet on him in the future.
Meanwhile, Osimhen looks a likely winner when the African Footballer of the Year Awards are held in Marrakech, Morocco in December.
Apart from his prolific form at his Italian club, Napoli, his 10 goals at the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series and another 26 at the Italian Serie A are clear indicators of an easy claim to the African throne.
That apart, in the France Football-powered Ballon d’Or, he was the best-ranked African player.
He however faces a titanic battle from Moroccan contenders who made history last December at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by becoming the first World Cup semi-finalists.
They include goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, defender Achraf Hakimi, midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, winger Hakim Ziyech and forward Youssef en Nesyri.
Sadio Mane of Senegal and Mohamed Salah of Egypt, both two-time winners of the award, have also been nominated. But they are unlikely winners. (THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER)