Osimhen news: Napoli coach appears to hit out at Nigeria striker

Osimhen news: Napoli coach appears to hit out at Nigeria striker
Photo by Icon Sport

In the latest Osimhen news, the dynamic striker of both Napoli and the Nigerian national team, has returned to his club following his participation in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

However, his performance in the tournament has sparked debate, with Napoli's coach Walter Mazzarri seemingly raising questions about Osimhen's readiness to return to action.

Victor Osimhen, known for his electrifying pace and goal-scoring prowess, had a relatively quiet tournament, managing just one goal and one assist as Nigeria fell short in the AFCON final against Ivory Coast.

Despite receiving honors from Nigerian President Bola Tinubu for his team's efforts, Osimhen's return to Napoli has been met with uncertainty.

In a video shared on social media, Osimhen was seen arriving at the airport, preparing to rejoin Napoli for their upcoming UEFA Champions League clash against Barcelona.

However, Mazzarri's comments regarding Osimhen's availability for the match against Genoa have raised eyebrows among fans and pundits alike.

Mazzarri's remarks suggest that Osimhen's involvement in the Genoa match may be in doubt, citing concerns about his fitness following his return from international duty.

Mazzarri: “Osimhen is a champion, but I respect those who train every day”

Victor Osimhen in second place for Nigeria
Photo by Icon Sport

The coach emphasized the importance of respecting the players who have been training consistently and hinted that Osimhen's participation would depend on his physical condition.

“If he's not well… then there are also teammates who have trained,” Mazzarri stated, emphasizing the need to prioritize the players who are fully prepared for the upcoming fixture.

“I've spoken to Osimhen on the phone, there's constant contact, now I'll talk to him and we'll see if he'll be available to come on the bench or whatever. Let's see how he is after those trips. He'll be here for training in the afternoon.”

“After facing flights, no one can be fit, plus I have to show respect for those who are here and have trained continuously and it's important in the same way.”

While acknowledging Osimhen's talent and capabilities, Mazzarri stressed the importance of fairness and equal treatment for all players.

Mazzarri: “Osimhen? If he's not well… then there are also teammates who have trained. Then I'll see him afterwards and talk to him. Osimhen is a top-class player, but I have to respect those who train every day, sleep well, etc.”

The coach's comments have sparked speculation about Osimhen's role in the team moving forward, particularly in light of Napoli's upcoming Champions League match against Barcelona.

With Osimhen being a key player for Napoli, his potential absence could have significant implications for the team's performance in the crucial fixture.

As Napoli fans eagerly await further updates on Osimhen's status, the debate over his role in the team underscores the challenges faced by players returning from international duty.

Balancing the demands of club and country commitments while maintaining peak fitness can be a delicate juggling act, and Osimhen's situation highlights the complexities involved.

Ultimately, Mazzarri's remarks serve as a reminder of the importance of player management and squad rotation in elite football.

While Osimhen's absence may present challenges for Napoli, it also provides an opportunity for other players to step up and make their mark on the team.

Osimhen news: Napoli sweat over his fitness ahead of Champions League clash against Barcelona

Victor Osimhen of SSC Napoli
Photo by Icon sport

As Serie A champions Napoli gear up for a crucial UEFA Champions League showdown against Barcelona, the fitness of star striker Victor Osimhen has become a major cause for concern.

In the latest Osimhen news reports suggest that the player, who recently participated in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, is struggling to regain full fitness, casting doubt over his availability for the upcoming match.

According to sources, Osimhen endured significant weight loss of between 3 to 4 kilograms during his time at the AFCON tournament hosted by Cote d’Ivoire.

The grueling nature of the competition, coupled with challenging weather conditions, took a toll on the 25-year-old striker, leaving him physically drained and unable to train at full capacity.

Despite his best efforts to return to Napoli in time for preparations, Osimhen encountered further setbacks when he missed his scheduled flight back to Italy, delaying his arrival until Thursday night.

With limited time to recover and prepare for the upcoming fixture, Osimhen's participation in the match against Barcelona hangs in the balance.

The Napoli medical team will conduct a thorough assessment of Osimhen's fitness upon his return to training on Friday.

However, it is widely speculated that he may be deemed unfit to start the match and could potentially be relegated to the bench as a precautionary measure.

In light of the uncertainty surrounding Osimhen's availability, Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti may be forced to explore alternative options to fill the void up front.

Players like Giovanni Simeone and Giacomo Raspadori could be called upon to step up and deliver in Osimhen's absence, providing much-needed depth and versatility to the squad.

The impending clash with Barcelona holds significant importance for Napoli, as they seek to assert their dominance on the European stage and advance further in the Champions League.

The absence of Osimhen, a key attacking asset for the team, would undoubtedly be felt, but Napoli must remain resilient and adapt to overcome this challenge.

As the countdown to the match intensifies, all eyes will be on Osimhen's fitness and Napoli's strategy heading into the crucial fixture.

With the stakes higher than ever, Napoli will need to navigate through adversity and showcase their strength and determination on the pitch to secure a positive result against Barcelona at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Tuesday, February 21.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old football journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. The Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBallLive readers.