Osimhen named in Napoli squad to face Parma

Victor Osimhen Napoli
Getty Images
Having joined the Blues from Lille, the Nigeria international looks poised to make his Serie A bow against the Crusaders

Victor Osimhen is in line to make his Serie A debut having been included in the Napoli squad for their 2020-21 campaign opener against Parma.

The Nigeria international, alongside Senegal's Kalidou Koulibaly and Algeria's Faouzi Ghoulam, are among the 23 players listed by manager Gennaro Gattuso for Sunday’s trip to Stadio Ennio Tardini.

Osimhen joined Napoli on a five-year deal in July after an impressive debut season in Ligue 1 with Lille, where he scored 13 goals in 27 appearances.

The ex-Wolfsburg man kicked off his career in Gattuso's team with an eight-minute hat-trick against L'Aquila - an encounter that ended 11-0.

Again, he found the net thrice as the Stadio San Paolo giants beat Serie C club Teramo 4-0 as they ended their pre-season training camp in Castel di Sangro on a flying note.

The 21-year-old’s goalscoring start to life at the club has caught the attention of the Archbishop of Naples, Crescenzio Sepe, and he hopes to see the Nigerian score more goals.

"What I said to Victor Osimhen? We talked and I said to him: ' You have scored 3 goals in 7 minutes, next time you have to score 5 goals in 5 minutes, you have to score almost every minute, do you understand?'," Sepe said.

"And did he understand? No, not so much: he doesn't speak Italian… I communicated in Neapolitan, somehow, we got along. He is happy, I saw it from his face regardless of the language we spoke. I congratulated him and all the players."

The Lagos-born goal machine is looking forward to playing against Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in his maiden Serie A campaign.

Article continues below

“I’m really looking forward to a new career here in Serie A. Playing against the likes of Christian Ronaldo is something one can eagerly wait,” Osimhen told the Caf website.

“While at Lille, I had the opportunity of playing against some of the best players in the world like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and it would definitely be a whole great experience to play against Ronaldo, who is one of the greatest players on earth.

"So, I’m looking forward to facing him soon.”