Transfer Talk: Osimhen could help Chelsea banish Blues
Victor Osimhen has etched himself into Napoli folklore after firing the Partenopei to their first Serie A title since 1990.
The Nigerian has bagged 23 goals in 30 league appearances this term, spearheading a team that has scored at a rate of more than two goals per game.
Unsurprisingly, Europe's richest clubs are circling, with Osimhen, 24, the perfect age and profile to nail down their No9 spot for years to come.
The race for his signature will be a major feature of this summer's transfer window — and should make Napoli very rich.
Premier League clubs must regret not making their move for Osimhen sooner.
Lille spent around £12million to sign the striker from Belgian outfit Charleroi when his potential was becoming clear in 2019 and Napoli broke their club record to land the marksman for a reported £70m a year later.
Serie A's top goalscorer has been unfortunate with injuries in Italy but his transfer value has roughly doubled after scoring 56 goals in 99 appearances.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has declared there is "no way" he will sell Osimhen this summer, but a bid of well over £100m may tempt him.
Strengths and weaknesses
Osimhen has not only netted 28 goals in all competitions this season but he also ranks top for shots taken and expected goals in the Italian top flight, proving his ability to sniff out big chances.
His movement is excellent, meaning that opposition defenders always have something to think about even if he is not involved in the game.
The African hitman does the ugly side of the game well, too. He ranks top for final-third possessions gained and only six Serie A strikers have won more aerial duels this season.
However, a pass accuracy of just 70.62% proves that he still has work to do with the ball at his feet.
Osimhen will not be the only striker on the move this summer, with several of Europe's leading clubs looking for robust, reliable goalscorers to recreate Erling Haaland's heroics at Manchester City for themselves.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain could all be prepared to drop chunky fees on a new centre forward, with the English clubs' need to bridge the gap to City particularly desperate.
Harry Kane and Lautaro Martinez are sure to be targeted, while Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani and Jonathan David of Lille are also likely to be on the move.
The merry-go-round of attacking aces can only improve Osimhen's prospects, with each transfer likely to inspire other clubs to make a move of their own.
Chelsea have reportedly shown the firmest interest in Osimhen, aiming to make him their No9 for the 2023-24 season.
If he does sign for the Blues, the 23-cap international would be aiming to break a remarkable run of high-profile strikers who have failed to justify their transfer fee at Stamford Bridge.
Andriy Shevchenko, Fernando Torres, Alvaro Morata, Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku have all failed to live up to the hype in West London, with Didier Drogba and Diego Costa the only two obvious success stories of the last 20 years.
With the five-time Premier League champions also missing out on European football next season, Osimhen would do well to think twice before committing to that potential move.