African All Stars

Nigeria’s Osimhen very strong, fast and difficult to mark - Tomori

12:50 PM WAT 07/03/2022
Osimhen Kalulu Milan Napoli 2022
The former Chelsea defender sings praise of the 23-year-old Super Eagle after squaring off in a Serie A fixture on Sunday

AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori has described Napoli forward Victor Osimhen as among the top strikers in Serie A.

The former Chelsea player came face to face with the 23-year-old Nigeria international in the top-flight fixture with Milan emerging 1-0 winners at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Sunday.

It was another former Chelsea player Olivier Giroud, who scored the all-important goal hand to Milan the vital away win in the Scudetto race, putting the Rossoneri clear at the top. Tomori, who marked Osimhen throughout the game, has revealed how tough it was to come up against the Super Eagle when asked about the most difficult forward to contain.

“There are many strong forwards in Serie A, obviously Victor [Osimhen], tonight’s opponent, is very strong: fast and difficult to mark,” Tomori said as quoted by Milan News.

“But there are also Beto, Lautaro, Dzeko, and many other strikers in this league. All very strong. But both when I play with Pierre and Alessio we play our game to avoid threats.”

Tomori, who was eligible to represent Nigeria at international level through his parents but opted for England, also revealed his happiness at the win but insisted he was aware there is still a long way to go from here to the end of the season.

“We are happy for this victory. The dressing room is very happy, but we have ten more games to play. Tonight it was difficult and we won, but we have to do even more,” Tomori continued.

“There is room for improvement in me, I am focused on our game and every day in training I try to play with an idea, and I transport this idea to the pitch. As I said, there are still ten games to play, but tonight the three points were really important.”

Meanwhile, Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti has warned Osimhen and his teammates to learn how to handle the pressure after losing to Milan.

“They won and we lost,” a disappointed Spalletti told DAZN as quoted by Football Italia.

"We started well, passed it around, should’ve perhaps made different choices in some situations, but we made a few mistakes after the restart and were not incisive enough to create scoring opportunities.

“We conceded an avoidable goal, then Milan did better in their defending.

“When you have some qualities and use them well, you can cover up for the lack of other qualities. If you pass it well, you don’t need to be as physical.

"We were missing some players, while others aren’t fully fit, for example, Fabian Ruiz has this lumbago and needs to be used carefully.”

Since joining Napoli from Ligue 1 side Lille in 2019, Osimhen, who has managed seven top-flight goals from 18 appearances so far in this campaign, is yet to score against the top teams in Serie A including Milan, Juventus, and Inter Milan.

Napoli will shift their league focus to Sunday when they visit Verona at Marcantonio Bentegodi Stadium.