Victor Ikpeba has advised Napoli striker Victor Osimhen to emulate Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Ranging from his training ground scuffle with Leo Ostigard down to family differences, the Nigeria international has made headlines for negative reasons in recent times.
And as a panacea to overcoming these problems, the 1997 African Player of the Year recommended the former Lille player learn from Egypt and Senegal internationals and concentrate on his promising career.
“Human beings are different. I remember my time as a professional footballer many years ago, I had my personality and character. I was very outspoken but had respect for senior players,” Ikpeba told Comfort 95.1 FM per Completesports.
“Osimhen is still a young guy. I don’t care what people think about me. When anything is on social media, people tend to take sides. I honestly don’t have any problem with him.
“The sky is his limit, but he needs to concentrate. People have to manage stardom. The Victor I saw at VfL Wolfsburg, Sporting Charleroi and OSC Lille carried himself decently.
“Going to Napoli might have changed his mind. He should calm down. The lad hasn’t achieved anything yet. He should try to emulate players like Mane and Salah.
“Before the boy went to Napoli, he was a decent young chap. I hope people around the boy advise him. He can’t continue to get into the wrong books as a star player of club and country.”
Osimhen had insulted Ikpeba on social media for criticising his decision-making in the 2022 Fifa World Cup play-off against Ghana in Abuja – where the three-time African kings failed to qualify for Qatar.
The former AS Monaco star stated he was not infuriated by the backlash from the 23-year-old while claiming his remarks were meant to help the youngster get better.
“What I said after Nigeria vs Ghana game was the truth. I have played the game to the highest level, so I can’t be afraid to criticize these players,” he continued.
“The problem with the media and fans in Nigeria is that we are afraid to criticize these players. As far as it is constructive, we shouldn’t be afraid.
“All that I said about Osimhen was constructive. He may not like it but that’s the truth.
“My advice for him is to calm down. He needs people who will tell him the truth. Players need to listen to people who are close to them. He should calm down, training ground issues can happen, but they shouldn’t be constant.”
Osimhen will shoulder Napoli’s goalscoring responsibilities when the 2022-23 Serie A season kick off against Verona on August 15.