Victor Osimhen’s unprecedented Capocannoniere

Osimhen has been linked with a move away from Napoli

TUESDAY TRIVIA Victor Osimhen’s unprecedented Capocannoniere

Seye Omidiora 13:09 - 06.06.2023
The Napoli marksman became the first African to claim Serie A’s top scorer award as the Partenopei reigned supreme in Italy’s top division. We look at the numbers delineating the Nigerian's outstanding season.

Even though Victor Osimhen may be unsure where his future lies, there is still time to bask in the Napoli striker’s incredible 2022-23 season with the Partenopei.

Not only was the Nigeria international instrumental to the Azzurri’s first Serie A title in 33 years, but he was also the league’s top scorer with 26 goals, outdoing Lautaro Martinez (21), who had threatened to mount a late-season scoring run.

Twenty-six goals is a personal best for Osimhen, whose previous high was last season when 14 goals were scored in 27 appearances. This term’s return came in 32 appearances (30 starts), further underscoring the impressiveness of 2022-23’s tally.

window.setTimeout(function () { let scriptCss = document.createElement('link'); scriptCss.href = ''; scriptCss.rel = 'stylesheet'; scriptCss.type = 'text/css'; document.body.appendChild(scriptCss); let scriptTag = document.createElement('script'); scriptTag.src = ''; scriptTag.defer = true; scriptTag.onload = function () { let widgetLoaderConfig = { CDN_URL: '', ODD_CLIENT: 'default', APP_LINK: 'desktop', API_URL: '', API_KEY: '2f852b4de2f3a5cf3188e74b33087bb4:2c18422f8e826a7d11aeed52edb2449e', LANG: 'en', REQUEST_INTERVAL: 30, ENABLE_BET_SLIP: false, AUTHOR: false, THEME: "light", TOURNAMENT_ORDER: "pulse_nigeria", LINK_OPTIONS_V2: { 'player' : { 'url': '/football/player/{playerId}' }, 'team' : { 'url': '/football/{teamId}' }, 'tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}' }, 'match': { 'url' : '/football/match/{matchId}', 'sort': { 'criteria': 'alphabetically', 'direction': 'asc' } }, 'configuration': { 'newWindow': false }, 'standings_tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}/standings' } } }; window.setTimeout(function () { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }, 200); }; document.head.appendChild(scriptTag); }, 0);

Spalletti - The 'best coach' for strikers 

It is no coincidence that Osimhen has shattered his previous peak under Luciano Spalletti, a manager known for bringing the best out of central strikers with different profiles.

Francesco Totti thrived as a false nine under the Tuscan-born boss in the 2000s at Roma, Edin Dzeko on Spalletti’s return to the Olimpico in 2016, and Mauro Icardi in 2017-18 at Inter Milan.

All three claimed the Capocannoniere, and Osimhen becomes the fourth to be a beneficiary of the ‘striker whisperer’ at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Osimhen is the fourth player to be Serie A's Capocannoniere under Spalletti's guidance (HochZwei/Syndication)

Records set by Osimhen

The Nigerian became the first African to win the award in the same season in which he surpassed George Weah’s 47-goal tally in Italy’s top division. 

The striker converted the penalty he won in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over cellar-dwelling Sampdoria, taking him to 50 goals since joining the club in 2020.

By ending the season with the winner’s medal and ending top scorer, Osimhen becomes the first player to achieve both feats since Zlatan Ibrahimovic (25 goals) with Inter in 2008-09.

With the season now wrapped up, we look at some of the Super Eagle’s Serie A campaign numbers.

Victor Osimhen's Stats

  • 0.91 – Napoli’s striker scored 0.91 goals per 90, eclipsing every other year in the forward’s career in Europe’s major leagues.
  • 21.3 – Osimhen’s 26 goals came from Expected Goals (xG) of 21.3. Excluding penalties, the centre-forward’s xG was 18.9.
  • 5.1 – The striker’s non-penalty goals minus non-penalty xG shows an over-performance of 5.1. This was the second-highest in Serie A and joint-ninth-best in the big five leagues.
  • 4.6 – Osimhen’s shots total per 90 in 2022-23. This outranked every year the 24-year-old has played in the continent’s major divisions.
  • 1.82 – Napoli’s marksman hit 1.82 of his shots (per 90) on target. Again, this outdid previous campaigns.
  • 39.4% - The Capocannoniere hit 39.4 percent of his shots on target, significantly surpassing last season (31.9%) and that single year with Lille (38.6%) – the previous best.
Victor Osimhen had a storming year in Serie A
  • 99 – Osimhen scored a goal every 99 minutes in Serie A, eclipsing the scoring frequency in his debut season (158) and last term (142).
  • 0 – None of the Nigerian’s Serie A goals were scored outside the box.
  • 7 – The striker netted seven headed goals in the just-concluded season, with 17 coming from his dominant right foot and two with his left.
Serie A highest goal scorer Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen scored a plethora of goals with his head
  • 4 – As mentioned previously, Osimhen is the fourth player under Spalletti’s tutelage to end the Serie A season as the Capocannoniere, following the footsteps of Totti (2006-07), Dzeko (2016-17) and Icardi (2017-18)
  • 10 – Osimhen scored 10 game-opening goals for Napoli in the 2022-23 season.
  • 7 – Seven of Osimhen’s 26 Serie A goals were match-winning strikes.