Osimhen’s form raises doubts over Chelsea move

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Napoli’s striker Victor Osimhen’s recent struggles have raised doubts within Chelsea’s hierarchy regarding a potential summer move.

Osimhen’s sparkling form at the start of the season had made him one of the most sought-after strikers in world football, with the Blues among the clubs keen to secure his services.

“At the start of the season and entering into 2024, Osimhen was undoubtedly regarded as one of the best strikers in world football,” remarked football journalist Carlo Garganese. “He scored 31 goals in 39 games in all competitions last season as Napoli won their first Scudetto in 33 years,” he added.

However, as the season has progressed, Osimhen’s form has deteriorated alarmingly.

“However, this term, the Nigerian’s form has fallen off badly, particularly in recent months. In 14 games in 2024, Osimhen has only scored in four matches. He also has just one assist in that time. His general level of performance has also been hugely disappointing,” Garganese added.

Osimhen’s struggles were laid bare in Napoli’s 3-1 Champions League defeat to Barcelona, where he won just one of his 10 duels. “He also gave the ball away 11 times and did not win it back once,” Garganese noted.

“Osimhen was offside four times in the first 20 minutes and was dominated by Barcelona’s 17-year-old rookie Pau Cubarsi,” he said.

The 25-year-old’s recent showing against Atalanta, where he was nullified by Isak Hien in a 3-0 home loss, has only compounded concerns over his form.

“There are suggestions that Osimhen’s impending departure from Napoli has caused him to lose motivation,” Garganese remarked.

These concerns have cast doubts in the mind of Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, who knows acquiring Osimhen would require a significant financial outlay. “The Blues have splashed out over €1 billion in the last 18 months since Boehly bought the club, and he is under pressure – also due to FFP – to not waste any more money,” Garganese explained.

Despite their lavish expenditure, Chelsea have endured a dismal campaign, currently languishing in 9th place. “One of Chelsea’s biggest problems has been their lack of firepower. As such, the Blues have made the signing of a top striker a priority in the summer,” Garganese added.

While Osimhen remains on Chelsea’s shortlist, reports suggest that Paris Saint-Germain have now taken pole position in the race for his signature amidst the Blues’ uncertainties.

It is understood that Osimhen has decided to leave Napoli at the end of the season.

“His relationship with the club has soured following the TikTok scandal, in which their social media team mocked his penalty miss against Bologna,” Garganese noted.

However, despite Napoli’s struggle this season, Osimhen is on a course to prove his doubter wrong, as he scored his 12th league goal of the season in their comeback 4-2 win at Monza on Sunday.

After going down by a goal early in the first half, the Nigerian levelled matters 10 minutes into the second half, and that spurred a ruthless resurgence with more goals from Matteo Politano, Piotr Zieliński, and Giacomo Raspadori.

Osimhen rose high to head home Frank Anguissa’s cross and didn’t mind injuring his nose during the bad fall. The equaliser was his 111th club career goal as he prepares for another adventure at another club next season.

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