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Osimhen & Simeone not guaranteed Napoli starts, Spalletti insists

5:21 AM EDT 8/21/22
Victor Osimhen Napoli pre-season 2022
The Argentine was signed by the Parthenopeans to strengthen the attacking department after Dries Mertens' exit

Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti has suggested neither Victor Osimhen nor Giovanni Simeone is guaranteed a starting spot in the team and victories are all that matter.

The Argentina international joined the Naples outfit on a season-long loan from Hellas Verona. Last season, while with the latter, the forward scored 17 goals in 35 Serie A matches, and provided five assists.

It is for the above reason the Parthenopeans brought him on board to strengthen the attacking department after the exit of Dries Mertens to the Turkish side Galatasaray. When asked whether the duo will play together against Monza, Spalletti hinted that is not important.

"It doesn’t matter whether they play together or not; what matters is that Napoli win," the 63-year-old tactician said as quoted by the club's official portal.

"It was great to see how much Simeone wanted to join Napoli because as soon as he knew the club were interested, that was his focus. This is the level of engagement that is really important for us.

"They are both target men and whether it’s Osimhen or Simeone, they will make a great contribution to the team."

The former Empoli midfielder prefers a 4-3-3 formation, but with the new players on board, the manager insists it gives him tactical options.

"We have a well-rounded squad which means we have more tactical options available to us. We have brought in players who give us something new to work with," Spalletti continued.

"The club has done a fantastic job investing in our future and offering us great prospects, while at the same time making sure that they balance the books. We made sure to fill in any of the gaps, because to play in all competitions we needed to expand the team.

"We are fighting to be competitive. We’re fighting to show what we’re made of, even with some less experienced players who haven’t had as much game time on the national and international stage.

"We know we have work to do but we’re ready to translate our potential into results on the pitch. The enthusiasm that there is around this side will help us to get right to it."

This season, Osimhen has scored once and assisted once after the first round of matches in the Italian top-tier.