A late flourish of goals and some top performances showed the class of Victor Osimhen after a rather difficult start to life in the Italian Serie A with Napoli.
A lot was expected of the Napoli record signing last summer from Lille, but after a handful of goals in pre-season, things took a difficult turn.
The goals were not forthcoming and then he suffered a shoulder injury on international duty against Sierra Leone in November.
He was sidelined for at least three months, but soon after he contacted Coronavirus during a short visit to Lagos.
It all seemed like Napoli big gamble on the all-action striker had failed only for him to bounce back to top reckoning and end the season with 10 goals.
This was certainly not bad a return considering the many odds he had to battle against.
However, Napoli’s spirited fight to qualify for the UEFA Champions League ended in the final weeks of the season and they finished outside the Top Four in fifth and will now feature in the Europa League.
The major casualty of this failure was coach Gennaro Gattuso, who had personally pushed for Napoli to sign Osimhen.
His replacement is the experienced Luciano Spalletti.
Osimhen’s agent, William D’Avila, said he believes the striker will shine in the new season under this coach.
“It will be great for the team to have a top coach like him (Spalletti),” he told Radio Kiss Kiss.
“4-2-3-1 will be the formation and Victor will be the offensive force.”
This is also the formation most favoured by Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, who has made no secret of the fact that Osimhen is his No 1 striker.
Osimhen himself is bullish about the chances of the country at both next year’s AFCON as well as the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
“I think we’ve got everything we need to win the next AFCON and to go even more further to qualify for the World Cup,” the Napoli striker told ESPN.
“Because this is a squad that has extremely wonderful talent, from the goalkeepers to the strikers, from the strikers to the bench.
“Also, of course, we have a very good coach and technical staff that can prepare us well for each game as it comes.
“And I think for us we have individual players who can win games for us, the likes of Kelechi (Iheanacho), Samuel Chukwueze, Alex Iwobi, myself, Paul (Onuachu) and the rest of the squad.
“And I know, of course, that a lot is being expected from this team regardless of the fact that we’re young.
“I think with what we got on our side, we can really go far as well as win the AFCON.”
He was No 1 in the previous edition of the SCORENigeria Top 30.