The Nigeria international has been excellent for the Neapolitans this term, but he was not always available, missing crucial periods of the season
Respected Italian football expert Stefano Ceci is convinced Napoli would be in the mix for a Serie A title tilt if they had Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen through the entire 2021/22 league season.
Napoli currently sit third on the Italian Serie A table, with a Champions League qualifying spot already guaranteed with two more matches left to play.
Luciano Spalletti’s men are, however, seven points behind league leaders AC Milan and no longer in the race to lift their first league title in over three decades.
But Il Partenopei were league leaders for a large chunk of the campaign, with many considering they had the quality to go all the way.
Napoli did not always have their best players on parade, though, with Osimhen starting only 22 of the club’s 36 league games. Injuries and suspensions kept Osimhen out of action for several weeks.
Still, the Super Eagles star registered 13 goals and two assists while winning several penalties.
And Ceci, a former manager of late football genius Diego Maradona, believes Napoli would be higher up the table if Osimhen did not miss so many matches for the Naples-based side.
“Why didn’t Napoli win the Scudetto? First of all, it must be said that important players like Osimhen have been missing for some time,” Ceci told Il ‘Bello del Calcio’ on Canale 8 (via Tutto Napoli).
“Then it must be said that in Naples, it is not at all easy to win. I still remember Cannavaro’s words when he moved to Juventus. He said exactly: ‘Here, you have to win.’
“We were lucky enough to win championships with Maradona, but we also remember how those successes were achieved.”
Osimhen’s time at Napoli may be running to an end as the 23-year-old is being linked with a summer move to the Premier League.
Arsenal, Manchester United, and Newcastle are reportedly hunting for his signature, with the Red Devils believed to have made contact with Napoli for the Nigerian.