Luciano Spalletti suggested that Victor Osimhen might be ready to participate in Napoli’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Milan on Wednesday.
The striker scored 25 goals in 29 games for I Partenopei this season. However, he suffered a thigh injury while playing for Nigeria during last month’s international break, which led to his absence in last Sunday’s 4-0 loss to Milan.
After that humiliating defeat, Napoli bounced back and moved closer to their first Scudetto in 30 years with a 2-1 victory over Lecce on Friday. However, Osimhen was once again not present.
Osimhen has an important role in Spalletti’s side achieving its dreams
Asked about Osimhen’s presence in the clash against Milan, Spalletti said: “We need to see how he reacts to strong physical activities, so far he’s done some basic jogging.
“It’s difficult without him, because he has this way of running into space, this physicality, he can draw everyone to him and create the space for his team-mates.
“[Giacomo] Raspadori had a good first half tonight, he linked up well with the midfielders. We could have done it even better, because we brought too many balls back to the two centre-backs when there wasn’t a need. On the pitch, however, we were balanced.”
In their match against Lecce, Federico Di Francesco nullified Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s header before Antonino Gallo’s own goal in the second half awarded Napoli three points.
Spaletti added: “It wasn’t easy to secure this result after last Sunday’s defeat and some injuries. A delicate situation had arisen, due to how we lost [to Milan] and because the Rossoneri are our next opponents in the Champions League.
“Then everyone thinks these are filler games but that’s not the case. It was essential to demonstrate that we were able to express ourselves again on good levels and that we had that kind of character.
“For this I congratulate the players. These three points give us peace of mind to face the next matches.”