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Should Napoli Sell Victor Osimhen This Summer?

  The transfer season has only just begun but rumors surrounding the future of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen are already widespread. The Nig...


The transfer season has only just begun but rumors surrounding the future of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen are already widespread. The Nigerian marksman joined Napoli for a club-record fee (€70m) in 2020, making him the most expensive African player of all time.

Hampered by injury

Injuries limited Osimhen to just 16 league starts in his first season in Italy, but he still returned 10 goals and three assists. He managed 23 starts in the 2021/22 campaign, scoring 14 goals and adding two more assists as Napoli finished third in Serie A.

More recently, he scored four goals in Nigeria's biggest ever win, a 10-0 thrashing of Sao Tome and Principe in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. His performances have caught the eye of some English clubs, and he is now being linked with a move away from Naples.

 Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with the player. But only Tottenham can offer Champions League football. The problem could lie in Napoli's valuation of the player with the club wanting more than €100m to part with his services.

Can Napoli challenge again?

Luciano Spalletti's team were contenders in the title race last season and were top of the table early stages. Four defeats in the space of a month towards the end of 2021 hindered their challenge but they returned to the top of the table in February. They eventually finished seven points adrift of champions AC Milan.

 Napoli are 8/1 with Betway to win the title next season and having a fit Osimhen at their disposal could be vital if they are going to mount another challenge. Juventus are expected to be stronger and are above them in the betting at 9/4. Champions AC Milan are priced at 2/1, while Inter Milan are favorites at 13/8 (prices as of June 20, 2022). Betting on the Serie A winners market is already underway and there is a welcome Betway bonus for new customers. More markets including top goal scorer will also be available as the new season approaches.

Other big-name departures

Those prices could change if Osimhen does leave during the summer. But much will depend on who Napoli can bring in to replace him. Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens have also left, so this feels like a crucial period for the club, who want to build on recent improvements. Georgia winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has been drafted in to replace Insigne. Meanwhile, Gianluca Scamacca of Sassuolo and Chelsea’s Armando Broja are among the possible replacements should Osimhen move to England. However, it’s hard to see how either would make them stronger.

Getting the balance right

Napoli must balance the financial interests of the club with their Serie A ambitions. Therefore, they might be tempted to cash in now. However, the fans have already expressed their displeasure at the idea of weakening the squad and lowering the wage bill. Coach Luciano Spalletti might also be prepared to walk away if he feels he is being undermined by transfer activity.

With still three years left to run on the Osimhen's contract, Napoli may prefer to keep the player for another year and maybe even extend his contract. If he continues to develop as expected, they might be able to sell him for an even bigger figure in 12 months’ time. And in the meantime, the fans get to dream about another shot at the title.

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