Italian Serie A side Napoli began their pre-season friendlies with a goal fest on Thursday, thrashing Anaune Val di Non, a team that compete in the Eccellenza local championship.
Luciano Spalletti’s men reached double figures, scoring 10 without reply, and the club’s record acquisition Victor Osimhen picked up where he left off last season with a goal in the 68th minute.
The Nigeria international has reported for pre-season training despite speculation linking him with a departure from The Azzurri.
Four goals by Napoli inside 38 minutes killed the game as a contest by the end of the first half as Rrahmani, Kvaratskhelia (2) and Anguissa got their names on the scoresheet.
Spalletti switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation at halftime, with Osimhen leading the attack.
The number 9 hit a first-time shot inside the area to make it 6-0 before goals from Politano (2) and Fellini (og) saw the Naples side go nine goals ahead after 86 minutes.
Ambrosino fluffed a penalty won by Osimhen at minute 91 but redeemed himself when he scored the game’s final goal a minute later. Napoli manager and
full-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo agree that Victor James Osimhen is a fantastic striker who can even get better with time.
Osimhen worked with manager Gennaro Gattuso in his first season at Napoli and managed 10 goals in 30 matches across all competitions.
The 2021-22 campaign was even more challenging for Osimhen, with the Super Eagles striker missing nearly two months due to a freak head injury that required surgery.
Still, the 23-year-old forward contributed 18 goals and six assists in 32 games for Napoli.
Spalletti admits Osimhen is fantastic, and the Napoli boss expects the youngster to improve further with more time spent on the pitch.
“He is a fantastic player who can become extraordinary because he has so many things to learn,” Spalletti said at a press conference, as per Tutto Napoli.
“Having him available from the start and more time on the pitch, it will be easier to catch those things where he needs to improve.”
Napoli defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo agrees with Spalletti that Osimhen is an excellent striker who can deliver more goals next campaign.
“He is very strong; he has room for improvement,” Di Lorenzo said.
“This year, despite some injuries, he had a good championship. We hope that he will repeat himself and score many goals.” Napoli are doing their best to keep Osimhen in Naples amidst interest from England and Germany for his services.
Head coach Spalletti sees the Nigerian international staying beyond the transfer window and has been exploiting ways to get the best from the former Lille lad.
Osimhen scored a few stunning goals with his head last term and Spalletti concedes that he is looking to set up the team to provide all-round service to the Nigerian.
Responding to a question about playing Osimhen more centrally, Spalletti said, “We will tell him, we will try to make him increase the number of goals.
“He is strong with his head; we will provide him with all the plays that will help him. It is the times that count in football; he just has to rest assured because he has enormous potential and to have trust in teammates.”
Napoli will be chasing titles on three fronts next season – the UEFA Champions League, Serie A, and Italian Cup.