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Osimhen missed an easy goal against Ajax – Napoli’s Spalletti says Nigeria star is not fit

6:57 PM MYT 13/10/2022
Victor Osimhen Napoli 2022.
Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti has stated Nigeria forward Victor Osimhen missed an easy goal against Ajax on Wednesday.
  • Osimhen returned after recovering from injury
  • He scored his first Champions League goal of the season
  • Spalletti says Nigerian is an important player for them

WHAT HAPPENED? After being sidelined for six weeks with an injury, Osihmen returned for the Naples-based club and scored – his first Champions League goal of the season – as the Serie A club emerged as 4-2 winners against the Dutch side.

The Super Eagle was introduced in the 50th minute when he replaced Giacomo Raspadori and scored in the first minute of added time.

In his assessment of how Napoli performed in the group match, Luciano said the Nigerian missed an easy goal.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "We didn't know where Osimhen was (in terms of readiness), as he did a few training (sessions) with us, so it was unknown. He didn't work for the team on defence because he was not in condition," the Italian tactician said.

"I had to lift the team physically and then start again from the middle of the pitch. It took the legs of someone with this characteristic. 

"He has to play more with the team. He missed an easy goal, but this is one. He is not very good at dribbling with his teammates, but for us, he is an important player, and 50 minutes is a lot.

"The boys have done an immense thing and have brought the pride of an entire people, like the Neapolitan one, into the field.

"Ajax showed what level of football they are playing. It's not that we lowered the level or were spectators given the results."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Napoli – who are in impressive form both in Serie A and in the European competition so far and are unbeaten in their last nine games – qualified for the Champions League knockout stage after the win over Ajax.

With Osimhen back in the fold, the attacking department is reinforced as the Champions League is set to enter the crucial stage.

The Nigerian is hopeful his first goal will open the floodgates as the campaign gathers speed.

WHAT NEXT FOR OSIMHEN AND NAPOLI: The focus now shifts to the domestic league, with a match against Bologna lined up on October 16.