By Daniel Edu
Rudi Garcia, the manager of Napoli, has shed light on a concern he has regarding Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen’s defensive contributions. Despite Osimhen’s impressive offensive performance during Napoli’s victory over Frosinone, Garcia has voiced his observation that Osimhen’s defensive efforts have diminished. He openly communicated this issue to Osimhen during the game.
Napoli, the reigning champions of the Italian Serie A, kicked off the new season with a 3-1 win against newly promoted Frosinone. Osimhen showcased his offensive prowess by scoring two of Napoli’s three goals in the match. However, despite his contributions on the attacking front, Garcia expressed dissatisfaction with Osimhen’s defensive role within the team.
Garcia shared his perspective with DAZN, acknowledging Osimhen’s offensive excellence but highlighting his disappointment with the striker’s decreased defensive involvement. The manager revealed that he discussed this matter with Osimhen during the halftime break. Garcia pointed out that Osimhen’s defensive efforts were more robust in the past, and he emphasized the importance of a balanced approach.
Garcia explained, “Offensively, he was excellent, he scored two goals and there is nothing I can tell him. Defensively, I didn’t like him at all and I told him during the break. He used to press more and defend better in the past. We changed this thing in the second half and we played with more quality. I knew he was not fit to play 90 minutes, but we waited for his second goal, he is a leader and this will never change, it’s his strong point.”
Earlier in the summer, there were speculations surrounding Osimhen’s potential departure from Napoli, despite his instrumental role in the team’s Scudetto win. Clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, and even Saudi Arabian clubs reportedly expressed interest in him. However, Osimhen appears to be extending his stay at Napoli for at least another season, as reports suggest he is on the verge of signing a contract extension with the club.