Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, who has been heavily linked with Arsenal during the current transfer window, has revealed that a “near-death” injury picked up in November 2021 left him with 18 screws in his jaw.
The Nigeria international was forced from the field early in the second half during a Serie A contest at San Siro after suffering a sickening clash of heads with Inter defender Milan Skriniar.
Major surgery was required in order to piece his face back together, with a man that still went on to hit 18 goals across the campaign as a whole lifting the lid on an incident that was memorable for all of the wrong reasons.
How badly injured was Osimhen?
The 23-year-old frontman has told Wazobia FM: “That injury I had against Inter Milan was like a near-death injury.
“I am the only one that felt it, and I can only speak about how I felt because it was my face and body.
“But to be able to stand up without using the stretcher, walk out of the pitch on my own, then I knew that it was something I could handle.
“For me, as I got to the hospital, I told my doctor that I would be out for two weeks maximum.”
Osimhen added, with the ailment eventually keeping him out of action for the best part of two months, before returning with a protective mask: “When the scan came out, I fractured many bones, which they had to remove and fix inside again. I have like 18 screws under my jaw. I went through a lot.
“A lot of sleepless nights. I could not sleep, I could not eat with the pain. But at the end of the day, I am a lion, and I know the kind of mentality I have.
“In my mind, I had already scheduled my return following the surgery.”
Will Osimhen be on the move this summer?
Osimhen has now found the target on 28 occasions through two seasons at Napoli, with his stock continuing to rise as further potential is unlocked.
He is said to be registering on recruitment radars across Europe, with plenty of big-spending sides in the Premier League keeping a close eye on his development.
Arsenal have generated the most speculation there, but GOAL has been able to confirm that the Gunners have a £45 million ($55m) agreement in place for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.
Manchester United have also been credited with interest in Osimhen, and they remain in the market for more attacking talent.
The Nigerian star will not be easily prised from Napoli’s clutches, though, with reports suggesting that he has a €100m (£86m/$106m) price tag around his neck.