Ex-internationals Ayo Makinwa, Azubuike Egwuekwe and Ejike Uzoenyi have backed Napoli striker Victor Osimhen to finish as the Serie A top scorer in the 2022/23 season, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
This comes after the 23-year-old was announced as the club’s designated penalty taker for the forthcoming season
Osimhen, who joined Napoli from French Ligue 1 side Lille in 2020, has so far managed 62 appearances in total and scored 28 goals.
Last season, Osimhen managed 27 appearances overall and finished joint eighth in the scoring charts with a total of 14 goals and two assists in Serie A.
He was also named the Best Young Player in the division last season, beating Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, Rafael Leao of AC Milan and Sassuolo duo Gianluca Scamacca and Giacomo Raspadori to the prestigious award, despite scoring fewer goals than the quartet.
Makinwa, who featured for five Serie A teams (Reggiana, Genoa, Atalanta, Palermo and Lazio) making a total of 120 appearances and scoring 16 goals with five assists, believes his clinical nature and the added spot-kick responsibilities makes him the perfect man to compete for the top scorer award against the likes of Vlahovic, Ciro Immobile, Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.
“He is up there with the likes of Vlahovic, Immobile, Lukaku and Martinez and I believe he can compete for the top scorer award if he is more clinical this season and he stays fit for the better part of the season,” Makinwa told Saturday PUNCH.
Egwuekwe, a member of the 2013 AFCON-winning squad, added,”Osimhen is a fantastic striker and I believe he can compete for the award this season in Serie A if he stays fit.
“His level right now is one of the best in the world and he has the confidence of his coach and teammates, which is the most important thing for a player.”
Former Eagles winger Uzoenyi said, “Osimhen will get to that level if he gets the kind of services main strikers at other clubs get. He has the potential to finish as the top scorer but it all depends on his conversion rate too. I think he can achieve that but he must be clinical.”
Napoli play Espanyol on Saturday, before taking on Verona in their first Serie A game of the season on August 15.