Victor Osimhen has described his record-breaking move to Napoli as a dream come true and has backed himself to excel with the support of the club’s fans.
The 21-year-old Nigerian striker signed a five-year-deal with the Neapolitans following his €81m club and African record move from French side Lille this summer.
He joined his teammates for the first time on Monday at their Castel di Sangro preseason camp and has already impressed with a goal in his first training session.
Addressing the press for the first time as a Napoli player, Osimhen who scored 18 goals in 38 games in his only season at Lille acknowledged the move to Italy is a big step up and stated his desire to do well in Naples.
“Joining Napoli is a dream come true,” Osimhen said in his maiden press conference in the colours of Napoli.
“It’s a big step up for me to be here. I want do well in a Napoli shirt.”
I Partenopei beat off intense competition from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United to land the signature of the coveted forward and Osimhen.
The success in convincing Osimhen to snub offers from England where he reportedly had his sights on initially, was primarily down to the relentlessness of club president Aurelio De Laurentis and manager Gennaro Gattuso.
And Osimhen said being made to feel welcome by the duo and the love he has been shown by fans was a major motivation for him choosing Napoli.
“Motivation is important for a young player like myself. The coach and the president made me feel at home straight away,” the former Wolfsburg striker said.
“I have a great relationship with the president and the coach and I’ve been shown a lot of love from the fans from the start.”
Gattuso said recently he’ll adjust Napoli’s tactical approach to get the best out of Osimhen.
That work has already started in training and Osimhen who praised the standard of their sessions says he can’t wait to try out their work in a match situation.
“The standard is very high in training. I want to continue working hard and I can’t wait to play.”
Napoli’s seventh place finish was their lowest in the Serie A for seven seasons.
Osimhen’s price-tag means a lot of expectations are on his shoulders to lead the club towards their stated goal of a top four finish and qualification for Champions League football next season.
Fans of the club will understandably look to Osimhen to score the goals to lift them up the table even though he is playing in Italy for the first time and at 21, is far from the finished product.
But the Nigerian striker who scored 20 goals for Belgian side Sporting Charleroi before moving to France has backed himself to overcome anything” with support from the terraces.
“I’ve visited the city and the fans have given me a very warm welcome. With their support, I’m sure I can overcome anything.”