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Napoli’s new boy Victor Osimhen has lauded the roles played by manager Gennaro Gattuso and club president Aurelio De Laurentiis in convincing him to move to Italy.

The Nigeria striker was reportedly linked to a number of clubs in Europe after his outstanding debut campaign in Ligue 1 with Lille where he notched 13 goals in 27 games.

However, before he penned a five-year deal with Napoli earlier this month, Osimhen noted the ‘father figure’ roles by Gattuso and De Laurentiis as the persuading factors for him.

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“Playing for Napoli is a dream come true and [Aurelio] De Laurentiis and [Gennaro] Gattuso have welcomed me like a son,” he said during his media presentation.

“The president and the coach really wanted to sign me and spoke to me a lot before I joined. Both were like father figures because they gave me lots of advice. I decided to accept the challenge with Napoli after speaking to them. It’s not often you’re shown so much love. For a young player like myself, that’s vital.”

The 21-year-old joined his new teammates for training this week at their pre-season camp in Castel di Sangro. He disclosed how he can fit into Gennaro Gattuso’s squad.

I like to get involved with the play. My team-mates are vital to me. My motto is never say never. Everything is possible in football,” Osimhen continued. “This is a squad of great players and it’s a big step up for me to be here. “I’m focusing on doing everything I can for the team and helping my teammates.”

Osimhen admitted his initial worry about racism in the Italian city but the reception he got from fans has changed his perspective. “I was a bit skeptical because it’s something that affects the whole world,” he said.

But I’ve visited the city of Naples, I’ve seen things with my own eyes and I know that I’ve come to a marvelous city. Racism is a problem that exists everywhere, but I’m sure that I’ve made the right choice because the love the Napoli fans show me will make me feel right at home.

“I’ve always been convinced that Napoli was the right choice for me right now and in the future. From both a personal and a playing perspective.”


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