Aurelio De Laurentiis caused a star at a press conference this week as he spoke about Victor Osimhen, with the Napoli president stating that his most expensive acquisition was unavailable for selection in several matches due to fitness issues.

Manager Francesco Calzona could not count on the services of Osimhen to lead the attack as Napoli were held to a 2-2 draw by Fiorentina in the Serie A on Friday night.

The number 9 is struggling to overcome a muscle strain injury before Nigeria’s back-to-back 2026 World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana and Benin’s Cheetahs.

It is still uncertain whether Osimhen will be available for selection against Lecce on the final day of the season, which might be his last game as a Napoli player amid speculation of potential transfers to Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain in the summer transfer window.

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Overall, the Nigerian has missed sixteen matches this season due to fitness issues and he was also away on Super Eagles duties at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

In quotes relayed by vesuviolive, Aurelio De Laurentiis told reporters: “You can’t force coaches to train a club or you can’t make sure that your first striker scores twenty-eight goals and that he is not ill and that perhaps he participated in 50% of the matches he should have played.”

“I collect everything about myself. That’s fine, but I mean, at a certain point I also send something back to the sender.”

Osimhen was instrumental as Napoli won their first Serie A title since 1990, scoring 26 goals in 32 matches over the course of the 2022-2023 campaign.

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