Although Napoli was held to a 0-0 draw at home to Hellas Verona, the return of Victor Osimhen was a bright spot for the Serie A leaders
Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti announced that Victor Osimhen will be included in the starting lineup for the team’s upcoming Champions League match against Milan.
Osimhen had recently recovered from a groin injury he suffered while playing for Nigeria last month and was an unused substitute during Napoli’s goalless draw against Hellas Verona on Saturday.
Despite hitting the woodwork during the match, Osimhen’s return was considered a positive sign for the Serie A leaders.
In the goalless draw against Hellas Verona, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen came close to scoring the winning goal, hitting the crossbar with a strong volley after coming on for the last 20 minutes. Although he was unable to add to his tally of 21 goals in Serie A, he had the most touches (five) inside the Verona area among all Napoli players during the match.
Spalletti expressed his optimism about Osimhen’s performance in the upcoming Champions League match against Milan, as the striker’s appearance in the previous game already boosted the team’s morale.
Napoli is currently behind 1-0 in the tie and Spalletti hopes that Osimhen will be in top condition for the crucial match.
Pioli full of praise for Osimhen despite the goalless draw
“He’ll be a starter against Milan,” Spalletti said of Osimhen.
“He has this structure where you can throw the ball into him, or in the space, and he holds it.
“He has many qualities. [Giacomo] Raspadori has almost all of them, but when we throw a long ball over his head, it becomes difficult for him.
“Osimhen is now a favourite of the fans, so when he enters he always gives a breath of enthusiasm to the whole team.
“Players like him are made of different stuff, they have too many solutions to be normal, they have so many characteristics.”
Asked why Napoli failed to make the breakthrough, Spalletti said: “We found a team that closed in and took the space away from us. We need to know how to fill the empty spaces.
“Many difficulties came from Verona, a team used to wasting time, as they were also allowed to do tonight. I don’t see the time we lost added anywhere.”
Despite winning just one of their previous four games across all competitions and losing two, Napoli are still comfortably 14 points ahead of Lazio in second place in Serie A. This puts them on track to win their first Scudetto since 1990.