Inter Milan legend Beppe Bergomi believes that Napoli will receive a significant boost against AC Milan in their UEFA Champions League second leg tie with Victor Osimhen's return, but that the Super Eagles striker is not all they need.
Victor Osimhen has returned to training ahead of Napoli’s UEFA Champions League second leg against AC Milan. 🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/nhJeS41qhf
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 17, 2023
Osimhen missed the first leg of that tie thanks to an adductor injury he picked up during international duty with Nigeria in March. The Partenopei went down 1 – 0 and will have the opportunity to upturn the result when Milan visit the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium for the second leg of the tie.
His return provides a big boost for Luciano Spaletti's side but they will also be worried about his poor scoring record against the Rossoneri. However, Osimhen looks and feels determined to break his duck against the seven-time Champions League winners in the second leg, which has fired up the team.
⚽️ Players with the Most Goal+Assists in Respective Top 5 Leagues:
🏴 Premier League: Haaland (37)
🇫🇷 Ligue 1: Lionel Messi (29)
🇮🇹 Serie A: Victor Osimhen (25)
🇪🇸 Laliga: Lewandowski (23)
🇩🇪 Bundesliga: Kolo Muani (23)
— Sholy Nation Sports (@Sholynationsp) April 17, 2023
Commenting on the upcoming match, Bergomi noted that Osimhen's return is as big a boost as Napoli could need for the game. He then pointed out that the team will greatly miss Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Kim Min-jae against their opponents and their absences could be a problem that Osimhen's return will not paper over.
The Cameroonian midfielder saw two yellow cards and was subsequently sent off in the first leg, while the South Korea international saw a yellow which suspended him for the second leg. Bergomi sees both men as crucial to Spaletti's side and does not see an adequate replacement for what they bring to the side.
“Napoli is well structured regardless of the center forward,” Bergomi said per Napoli Magazine. “Definitely, having Osimhen gives you a sense of security, but you can’t think that it will solve all your problems.
“Napoli have two very important absences with Milan because they lack the two most physical players. Physicality has always been a problem for Napoli, this year they tried to make up for it, but in the past, they suffered.
“Milan are a team that takes you a lot from a physical point of view, on the individual duel and marking.”
Bergomi's statement will give the fans cause for concern because Spaletti has struggled to get his team firing on all cylinders every time he plays without an important player.
Milan, on the other hand, are planning to approach the game the same way they did in the first leg and in the game before that, when they defeated the Serie A leaders 4 – 0 at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
Danish defender Simon Kjaer echoed these sentiments in his pre-match comments. “We meet him as we did with others, we don’t work on just one player but on the whole team, with the utmost respect.” he said.
It is a tie which, if won, will see Napoli closer to their best ever season since their formation.
They will need Osimhen firing on all cylinders just as he did in the round of 16 when they were faced with the daunting task of getting past Eintracht Frankfurt.
This article was most recently revised and updated 11 months ago