The Nigeria international is preparing well ahead of the next season and hints that he will not be leaving for the English Premier League just yet
Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen has shared his thoughts about a wide range of topics revolving around Napoli, his stay in Naples, his teammates, and his targets for next season.
In an interview with Corriere Dello Sport (via Tutto Napoli), Osimhen professes that he deserves to be linked with a move to some of the wealthiest clubs on the continent.
Shutting the door on leaving Naples
Chelsea, Manchester United, and Newcastle United are the 23-year-old’s biggest admirers in England, while German champions Bayern Munich are potential suitors after saying goodbye to Robert Lewandowski.
But Osimhen maintains that Napoli stood by him during his struggles, and he vows to give back his best to the club and fans in appreciation.
“Offers? I am at Napoli. And I have great respect for my club,” Osimhen said.
“I have experienced very difficult moments, even private ones, but Napoli has always been close, and this is one of the reasons why I’m here. So I play for the club and the team and never for myself.
“For the rest, I think I deserve the hype, and the good things said about me, to be able to improve even more in many aspects.”
Joy in playing at the Maradona Complex
Napoli’s traditional home is the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples.
And Osimhen expresses his delight at playing on the same ground named after the football icon and where the late Argentine hero once reigned supreme.
Osimhen added: “Sure! I’m in a beautiful city and a wonderful club. Naples is one of the best places to be a footballer: Diego Armando Maradona played here, the best ever, and I consider it a privilege and a great honor to play in the stadium entitled to him.”
Painfully missing out on the Scudetto
Napoli missed out on last season’s Serie A title by the whiskers, with the club eventually finishing third behind champions AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Osimhen reveals his disappointment at coming so close to lifting the first major club honour of his career.
“We were very, very close to the Scudetto: we all gave everything to win it, but this is football,” said the Nigeria international.
“It was and remained a dream: we will try again. It’s a dream, and we will achieve it.”
Departures and Arrivals at Napoli
Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly was one of Osimhen’s Napoli teammates that the youngster bonded with in Italy.
The veteran centre-back has, however, completed a €38 million transfer to Chelsea.
A busy summer has also witnessed the departure of the talismanic Lorenzo Insigne, goalkeeper David Ospina and strike partner Dries Mertens.
Osimhen hails them all as fantastic players and leaders. The former Lille lad is, however, convinced that there are still exemplary leaders in the Napoli dressing room.
“The team has changed a lot,” Osimhen continued.
“Insigne, Ospina, Koulibaly, Mertens, and Ghoulam, key men and great leaders, have left, and I want to thank them: I love them all and wish them only the best.
“Now, however, there are other leaders: I’m happy for Giovanni Di Lorenzo, the new captain, and then there’s Mario Rui.”
Napoli have also signed some quality replacements in Olivera, Ostigard, and Kvaratskhelia.
And Osimhen is convinced that the new arrivals will add quality to Napoli.
“And among other things, new players have arrived who are good, determined, and technical who will help us fill the void left by these great champions,” he said.
“They will increase our quality. Few believe that we will be competitive for the Scudetto, which is an opinion that I respect: I, however, think that next season we can do much, much better than the last.
“We will do everything to improve further: we are very motivated, we worked well in Dimaro, and now we continue in Castel di Sangro. Napoli are still strong. Definitely strong,” Osimhen concluded.