Glorious Osimhen on fire

10 matches into the 2021/22 Italian Serie A campaign, Napoli already look like genuine title contenders as they sit in first place with 28 points.

Victor Oshimen

So far they have scored 22 League goals, a record only bettered by AC Milan and Inter Milan, and have only conceded 3, with no other side letting in less.

The man in charge, Luciano Spalleti, endured a relatively unpleasant experience in his last Serie A job, as his Inter Milan side were criticized for playing unadventurous, slow football before he got the boot in 2019.

On 29 May 2021, after two years of inactivity, Spalletti was announced as the new head coach of Napoli, replacing Gennaro Gattuso. The former AS Roma and Zenit Saint Petersburg has made a good impression so far in the city of Naples.

Many would highlight the importance of Victor Osimhen in their impressive form, and they would be right to.

In his 9 appearances so far - all coming from the start - he has notched five goals and two assists. The 22-year-old's influence in attack has seen him involved in seven goals.

Standing at 190 cm, Osimhen does not possess the traditionally required monumental physical structure of a striker, but this only constitutes a mere illusion as he has the power and strength of the good old-fashioned forward. This enables him to amount impressive and substantive individual performances as far as ratio of goals/matches is concerned, as proven above.

But what makes Osimhen unique is undoubtedly his diverse qualities that transform him into a modern forward, able to keep possession, to help in the build-up, to maintain a constant high-pressing reaction to the ball loss and construct and distribute goal opportunities to his teammates. He manages to combine his vigor and resilience with generous pace and incredible agility, often appearing in the wings as the game unfolds and demonstrating incredible ease at providing successful crosses for a striker.

Lastly and as a consequence of his mobility in the field he shows a matured and broad tactical understanding of the game, being able to offer the team interesting solutions in their offensive plays, his intelligence in occupying the half-spaces between the full-backs and center-backs in simply brilliant; and mainly to show efficiency and maintain his profitableness in terms of goals in various tactical systems.

The Nigerian signed for €71.23m from OSC Lille, but at the same time it represented a slight risk for Napoli. That price could easily have seen the player be considered an expensive flop if things did not settle quickly, but he already seems to have repaid much of the faith shown in him.

With Osimhen in the team, Napoli have a player generally looking to always call for the ball and has helped in their efforts to play out matches to a high tempo.

Of course it is impossible to tell where Napoli finish this season. Who knows, they may win the Serie A title but either way, one suspects much of it will hinge of Osimhen's form. He is not the only important player they have, but you get the feeling that if he continues to score and create chances, then a top-two finish will be the very least they could accomplish.

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Ademetan Abayomi has always dreamt of being a sports journalist. His journey began 11 years ago when he created my first sports news page on Facebook, called "Futball Galore" and from there on his passion for sports journalism grew stronger. Now, he is a Sports News Reporter and Feature Writer where he strives to add value and learn as much as he can.

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Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

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