Nigerian reporter and Victor Osimhen’s friend Oma Akatugba suggests Napoli weren’t ‘playing to his strengths’ last season, as Luciano Spalletti had to ‘make his teammates co-operate.’
The 22-year-old former Lille striker had 10 goals in 30 competitive games for the Partenopei during his debut season.
His stuttering form was largely put down to a series of injuries, including a dislocated shoulder, and contracting COVID during the Christmas break.
Osimhen already has nine goals in just 10 official matches during the current campaign.
However, Akatugba implies on Twitter that there were other tactical and personnel issues also in play under previous coach Gennaro Gattuso.
“Victor Osimhen has now grown into his real element and has become very key for Napoli,” wrote the Nigerian reporter.
“Thanks to the new coach Luciano Spalletti who changed the team’s style to get the best out of Victor Osimhen which is in the good of the team. Last season, the team didn’t play to his strength.
“And that didn’t help both Victor and the team. Yes he had a lot of hiccups last season but those weren’t the only reasons he didn’t reach top level. There is so much going on within football clubs that fans don’t know about. Players sometimes can worm against each other and that.
“Is why managers with charisma and strong personalities are needed to steady things and get players to play to a certain style or to the strength of certain players. That is what Spalletti has done at Napoli and we can already see the results.
“Victor was bought for a huge amount of money. The most expensive African signing and they wanted him to play a pivotal role in the team but all the troubles of last season almost made that to look impossible but thank God things have changed and the teammates have come to corporate. All to the good of the team.”
It is not clear who he is referring to when it comes to players not wanting to work with Osimhen to get the best out of him tactically.
As for players clashing in the locker room, the tension at Napoli has been palpable long before Osimhen arrived, with Carlo Ancelotti fired just days after a mutiny within the squad, in which they refused to go back into a training retreat.
The repercussions from that event are still being felt, with legal action not yet resolved between President Aurelio De Laurentiis and some of the players.
Victor Osimhen has now grown into his teal element and has become very key for Napoli. Thanks to the new coach Luciano Spalletti who changed the team’s style to get the best out of Victor Osimhen which is in the good of the team. Last season, the team didn’t play to his strength pic.twitter.com/Oj6h9ALuLM
— Oma Akatugba (@omaakatugba) October 24, 2021