The partnership of Victor Osimhen and Dries Mertens in the attack will be massive for Napoli in the new season if manager Gennaro Gattuso adopts 4-2-3-1 formation to favour the pairing, according to Bruno Giordano who once played for the Partenopei,
Young Nigeria striker, Osimhen, joined Napoli earlier this summer from Losc Lille for a fee of 70 million euros while Belgium international, Mertens, is at this moment the Italian Serie A club’s highest goal-scorer of all time.
Giordano played alongside Diego Maradona and Careca at Napoli to form the famous attacking trio known as “Ma-Gi-Ca” . The striker who starred for Napoli from 1985 to 1988, scoring 23 goals in 78 Italian top-flight matches sees the partnership of Osimhen and Mertens in 4-2-3-1 formation as great.
“Osimhen has many qualities, starting from the physical one and in large spaces he becomes unstoppable. In some ways he reminds me of Weah. Then it is clear that he is 21 years old and arrives in a very important place like Naples. We need to give him time: let’s not expect him to be Careca right away. It adds something new to propose a different game. It becomes a deadly weapon when you suffer in your area and have to start on the break. With him [Osimhen] two passes are enough, you throw him in speed and aim for the goal,” Giordano told Italian newspaper Il Mattino in a interview, reported by 100×100 Napoli.
“Osimhen-Mertens? They are certainly compatible in a 4-2-3-1. Because Dries can play behind him. But if Gattuso were to go on with the 4-3-3 they can’t co-exist, Mertens can’t imagine himself on the outside anymore. Today Mertens is a true center forward. And then at 33, the running skills to do the whole range are not the same.
“Petagna? He is a striker with still different characteristics than Osimhen and Mertens. Good at picking up the team and then defending the ball well. He is a forward who plays a lot for his teammates. Osimhen is a terminal, Petagna can also do assists.
Giordano added: “Who plays in Parma? Osimhen – Mertens. Osimhen was the biggest purchase of the summer and you can’t leave it out. If he enters 15 from the end and does not score it can become a problem. Instead in 90 ‘he can show his qualities. Then 4-2-3-1 with Mertens who can give him a hand. You are Napoli, in Parma you can afford to play with both. ”
21-year-old Osimhen scooped a major award after the Super Eagles attacker was voted as Lille’s best player of the 2019/20 Ligue 1 season which was ended prematurely due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
By Oluyemi Ogunseyin
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