Ex-Inter Milan star Christian Vieri defends Victor Osimhen from critics

The Nigerian youngster did not light Italy on fire following his big-money move, thereby attracting quite a few critics

Inter Milan great Christian Vieri has lashed out at critics who knocked Victor Osimhen for his slow start to life at Napoli after securing a club and African-record transfer to Naples last year.

Osimhen excelled at Belgium’s Royal Charleroi and France’s Lille before moving to Napoli for a reported transfer fee that exceeded 80 million euros.

But the Super Eagles striker had it tough in his first few games for Napoli, managing just one goal (in the 4-1 defeat of Atalanta in October) in seven matches in all competitions.

The young forward even picked up a red card in a Europa League clash at Real Sociedad and fired blanks in other games as Il Partenopei were knocked out of the competition in the first knockout round.

Osimhen would later finish the campaign with ten goals as Napoli ended fifth on the Serie A table, missing out on Champions League football.

However, the Nigerian striker has shown a fine mastery of the Italian top-flight and has become a terror to the division’s finest defenders in the early stages of the 2021-22 season.

The 22-year-old has nine goals in all competitions for Luciano Spalletti’s men and has had a hand in several other goals.

And former Internazionale striker Vieri has found the right time to knock those who did not give Osimhen a chance to become a star in the Italian Serie A.

“Osimhen, after six games, they (critics) said ‘he’s poor, but how do you say things like that?” Vieri told the Bobo TV, as per TuttoNapoli.

“The Italian league isn’t like 20 years ago, but tactically it’s always very difficult, and you needed a little patience. Osimhen has quality; he plays for the team, he humbles himself, he creates spaces.”

The former Wolfsburg signing suffered an injury in training last week, which ruled him out of the 1-0 win over Salernitana.

He is expected to miss the Europa League tie against Legia Warsaw on Thursday and is also a doubt for his side’s weekend clash against Verona.

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