Napoli’s manager, Walter Mazzarri, conceded the possibility of Victor Osimhen starting tonight’s UEFA Champions League clash against Braga from the bench.
Osimhen’s absence from Monday’s training session was due to his attendance at the CAF Awards 2023, where the 24-year-old secured the prestigious Men’s Player of the Year accolade in Marrakech, Morocco. Immediately after the ceremony, he swiftly returned to Naples.
With Napoli vying for a spot in the Round of 16, Mazzarri acknowledged Osimhen’s recent engagements, stating, “Osimhen did what he had to do. I will discuss with him tomorrow to assess if he can begin the game.”
The forward is anticipated to feature in Nigeria’s squad for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, potentially necessitating his absence for around a month, contingent upon Nigeria’s progress in the tournament.
Mazzarri hinted at the team’s readiness to navigate Osimhen’s probable absence, noting, “With the AFCON looming, we understand the need to cope without him for a while. Fortunately, we have two capable players in Giacomo Raspadori and Giovanni Simeone.”
As Napoli braces for crucial matches, including Champions League fixtures, the manager’s remarks suggest preparedness to manage the absence of their star player during this period of significant competitions.