Osimhen: How Napoli star outperformed, Haaland, Mbappe & other European forwards

Osimhen: How Napoli star outperformed, Haaland, Mbappe & other European forwards

Victor Osimhen was at it again as he scored in Napoli’s 1-1 Serie A draw away at Cagliari on Sunday.

The Nigerian forward returned to action in the UEFA Champions League in midweek after participating in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, netting in a 1-1 draw at home with Barcelona in the round of 16 first leg.

Osimhen picked up from where he left off, opening the scoring against Cagliari in the 66th minute by connecting with Giacomo Raspadori’s cross and heading the ball home for his eighth league goal of the season and his 10th in all competitions, making it the sixth consecutive season he reached double digit goals.

It was also the fifth consecutive game Osimhen scored against Cagliari, making it a 100% record against the Sardinia outfit.

One interesting fact is that Osimhen’s goal against Cagliari was his 18th headed league goal for Napoli since he joined the club from Lille in the 2020-21 season.

In that time, no other player has recorded more headed goals in Europe’s top five leagues except Harry Kane with 24 headed goals.

This means Osimhen is ahead of a host of Europe’s top forwards such as Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe, Darwin Nunez, Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Antoine Griezmann among others when it comes to headed goals.

Osimhen came off in discomfort with five minutes left to play and was replaced by Giovanni Simeone. It raised concerns about his fitness level at a time when Napoli are struggling to get results but manager Francesco Calzona downplayed the seriousness of the injury, citing fatigue from his AFCON 2023 participation.

“He was only tired. Victor is a fantastic guy. He scored two goals in two matches and will slowly get back in shape,” Calzona said after the game.

“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.”

Sunday’s result left Napoli in ninth place on the Serie A table, 11 points away from the top four and a mammoth 29 points from the top of the table.

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