‘Osimhen Was Devastated After AFCON’ — Napoli Manager Tips Super Eagles Star to Hit Top Form Soon

Victor Osimhen during the AFCON 2023 final against Ivory Coast | Imago

‘Osimhen Was Devastated After AFCON’ — Napoli Manager Tips Super Eagles Star to Hit Top Form Soon

Ayoola Kelechi 19:26 - 25.02.2024

New Napoli boss Francesco Calzona has backed Nigeria's Victor Osimhen to get back to full fitness after being 'devastated' by his AFCON 2023 participation

Napoli's head coach, Francesco Calzona, has shed light on Victor Osimhen's state after he returned from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with Nigeria which left the striker feeling 'devastated'.

A Promising Comeback

Despite the emotional and physical fatigue, Osimhen has shown signs of his inherent quality and resilience. Scoring in his first two matches of 2024, including a crucial game against Barcelona in the Champions League and a Serie A draw with Cagliari, Osimhen has demonstrated his scoring prowess and ability to impact games at the highest level. 

Calzona, speaking with DAZN, highlighted Osimhen's determination and work ethic, noting that the striker was merely tired, hence his early substitutions in recent matches, saying, “He was only tired. Don’t forget he played at AFCON. Players are devastated when they return. He was tired also against Barcelona, but players always want to stay on the pitch.”

The new Napoli manager also noted that Osimhen is on the path to regaining his optimal form, saying, "He scored two goals in two matches and will slowly get back in shape," signaling his confidence in Osimhen's recovery and return to top form.

The Road Ahead for Osimhen

Osimhen's immediate contributions upon his return have been a silver lining for Napoli, with Calzona affirming the forward's importance to the team's ambitions. The manager's remarks about Osimhen wanting to stay on the pitch despite fatigue illustrate the player's commitment and desire to contribute to Napoli's success. 

As Osimhen continues to integrate back into the squad and regain his physical and mental sharpness, both the player and the team look forward to what promises to be a pivotal phase of the season.

Despite the setback of a challenging AFCON campaign, Osimhen's recent performances for Napoli have provided ample evidence of his quality and resilience. Under the guidance of Calzona, Osimhen is tipped to overcome his post-tournament blues and play a crucial role in Napoli's quest for glory, both in Italy and on the European stage.