Napoli Boss, De Laurentiis, Counsels Fans on Osimhen

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After two days at training with his new club, Napoli President, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has urged fans to be ‘patient’ with Super Eagles forward and club’s new signing, Victor Osimhen as he gradually settles with the Naples side.

The Nigerian international was a major signing by the club following a big-money move from Lille to Stadio San Paolo in Italy last month and has hit the ground running.

The AFCON 2019 bronze winner in Egypt joined the Serie A team from Lille in a club-record fee of €70 million which could rise to €80 million to become Nigeria’s most expensive player in history.

The forward has already hit the ground running, scoring in his first pre-season game for the Stadio San Paolo outfit on Monday.

De Laurentiis, who was one of the spectators during the game, reminded the club supporters that the striker has been inactive since Ligue 1 was abruptly concluded due to the outbreak of coronavirus in March as such should be tolerant with the 21-year-old.

“The fans ought to be patient with him because Osimhen hasn’t played in seven months and still needs to get to know Italian football,” De Laurentiis told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“I urge the fans to give him time and space, so he can help the team. Rino Gattuso won’t give anyone an easy time.

“I see every now and then the media say I paid €47m! Evidently I ought to start publishing the contracts. In Germany, where they are very reliable, they always talk about gross wages and not net.”

Osimhen was snapped up by the Parthenopeans following his eye-catching performances for Lille, where he spent a single season.

The forward bagged 18 goals and provided six assists across all competitions and scooped the club’s Player of the Season award for his efforts.

The Super Eagles star joined Lille from Sporting Charleroi in the summer of 2019 as a direct replacement for Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe, who teamed up with Premier League club Arsenal.

The Ultimate Strikers Academy graduate started his European career with Bundesliga side Wolfsburg after impressing for Nigeria at the 2015 U17 World Cup in Chile.

The forward scooped the Golden Boot and Silver Ball awards as he helped the Golden Eaglets win the title for a record fifth time and was named 2015 African Youth Player of the Year.

Osimhen is currently a key member of the national team after making his debut against Togo in a friendly in June 2017.

He has scored four goals in nine appearances for the Super Eagles and was part of the side that finished third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.