‘Osimhen same level as Drogba but must stop diving’ – Mourinho sends Premier League transfer message to Napoli striker
- Nigeria international starring in Italy
- Linked with leading sides in England
- Offered advice by Portuguese coach
WHAT HAPPENED? The current Roma boss got another good look at Nigeria international Osimhen during his side’s latest outing in Serie A, with the talented 24-year-old netting a stunning goal in a 2-1 victory for Napoli over the Giallorossi. Osimhen has found the target on 15 occasions through 20 appearances this season, leading to talk of interest from the likes of Manchester United, and former Red Devils boss Mourinho – who worked with Ivorian frontman Drogba at Chelsea – has told a much sought-after talent what he needs to do in order to thrive outside of Italy.
WHAT THEY SAID: Mourinho told reporters when asked for his take on Osimhen: “He is of the same level as Drogba, but Didier didn’t dive. If Victor changes, then OK. I’d buy him if I was at a club with a lot of money. However, if he does go to England one day, he needs to change, because in Italy they put up with this sort of behaviour, whereas in the Premier League, they’d come down hard on him.”
Mourinho added on what he said to Osimhen after a meeting in Naples: “I told him that he scored a wonderful goal and needs to stop diving so much. His goal was fantastic, he did the same thing when we met earlier this season, so he’s a fantastic player. But he mustn’t dive.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Napoli have Osimhen tied to a contract through to 2025, so are under no pressure to sell, but their resolve may be tested in upcoming transfer windows as the African superstar continues to see his stock rise.
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DID YOU KNOW? In 16 Serie A games played this season, Osimhen has already equalled his best tally of goals scored in a single campaign in the Big-5 European Leagues: 14 (as in the 2021/22 season, but in 27 appearances).
WHAT NEXT? Manchester United are expected to be in the market for another No.9 in the summer of 2023, having acquired Wout Weghorst on a short-term loan deal in the January window, and there is plenty of speculation to suggest that the Red Devils will turn their attention to Osimhen as a long-term option to lead the line at Old Trafford.