Peseiro backs Osimhen to return stronger
Written by Adeola Ibrahim on November 8, 2023
Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has thrown his weight behind striker Victor Osimhen to continue his impressive form on his return from the side lines after the Napoli man copped an injury while on international duty for Nigeria.
The Napoli striker picked up a hamstring injury during Nigeria’s 2-2 draw against Saudi Arabia in October and has not played for Napoli since scoring against Fiorentina on October 8. He was in Nigeria for about a week as he returns to the Italian champions on Wednesday (today), but he won’t feature in their UEFA Champions League game against Union Berlin.
Last week Osimhen finished eighth in the rankings of this year’s Ballon d’Or won by Lionel Messi and has been nominated for the 2023 CAF Player of the Year Award which will also be handed out on December 11 in Morocco.
This is coming on the heels of a successful season with Napoli last season and the Super Eagles coach believes he has the quality to keep up his momentum this season despite the issues that have surrounded him at the club recently.
“Ballon d’Or? To have come eighth in the world and first in Africa in this voting is extraordinary,” Peseiro told Sportitalia, via Il Mattino.
“He is not happy, because obviously he had an injury, which is not good news for us, for Napoli, and for the Italian championship. They have not been simple weeks, the rumours about the signed contract, the transfer market issues, and the issue of the TikTok video, especially for an important player like him.
“Now, however, I know that he has a great desire to return to the pitch as soon as possible. For his abilities, for what he has demonstrated, he has and will always have the best clubs in the world who will want him.”
Osimhen, who has six goals in eight games for Napoli this season, will undergo further tests on his arrival in Naples to assess the progress of his rehabilitation while he has been excluded by Peseiro for this month’s 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Lesotho.