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Champions League: Victor Osimhen sounds ALARM at Chelsea as Napoli crash to Barcelona

Victor Osimhen misses a chance against Barcelona in the 2023/24 Champions League

Victor Osimhen had the chance to stamp a summer transfer to the Premier League when Napoli faced Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday. Instead, he sent the likes of Chelsea a red flag.

Osimhen played the full 90 minutes for the Serie A club in Spain but turned in a wretched performance in front of watching scouts.

Some of the biggest clubs in the world are vying to sign the Nigeria international this summer. Chelsea are at the head of the queue, having employed the likes of Didier Drogba and Jon Mikel Obi to act as agents on their behalf to talk the forward into a move.

He’s a great finisher, he’s got the size, he’s got the skill-set. He’s got everything to be the perfect centre forward

– Owen Hargreaves (TNT Sport)

Osimhen will not come cheap. Any club that wants to sign him will likely need to match the release clause Napoli placed in his new contract late in 2023, which is expected to be around the €120-130 million mark.

“He’s destined for a big move, 31 goals last season. He’s a great finisher, he’s got the size, he’s got the skill-set. He’s got everything to be the perfect centre forward,” Owen Hargeaves told TNT Sport.

And that’s the narrative around Osimhen. But with 13 goals this season, there has been a drop off.

He is not playing like a player worth such a vast sum of money currently, though. His poor form continued at Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium.

Victor Osimhen, Napoli
© IMAGO – Victor Osimhen, Napoli

Osimhen flops in Barcelona

Osimhen weighed little in the game as Napoli were beaten 3-1 by Barcelona, therefore crashing out of the Champions League.

His one shot on target was one of the few positive things he mustered in the game. Otherwise, it was forgettable at best.

Osimhen only touched the ball 29 times, and while this was the same figure as Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski, his overall contribution was much weaker.

He won only one of the 10 duels he competed in and only one of six aerial duels. Moreover, he gave the ball away 11 times and did not win it back once. Top cap it all, he was caught offside three times.

Victor Osimhen vs Barcelona

Minutes 90
Touches 29
Shots/On target 1/1
Pass completion 68%
Key passes 2
Duels/Won 10/1
Aerial duels/Won 6/1
Possession gained 0
Possession lost 11
FootballCritic Rating 5.9

FootballCritic gave Osimhen a score of 5.9 for his performance.

But this was no one-off. It continues a trend of poor performances from Osimhen that dates back to the beginning of the season.

In big games, he has been particularly poor, often being given a rating under 6 by FootballCritic. This was the case when Napoli played Juventus at the start of March, with his first-leg goal against Barca very much an exception in key fixtures this season.

With such a prodigious scoring record during his time with Napoli, it would be wrong to write Osimhen off. Perhaps he has been distracted by the mounting transfer speculation. Maybe playing in a weak Napoli side is hurting him.

What is clear, though, is that he is not playing to anything like the level he managed last term, and that should come as a warning sign to Chelsea as they prepare to go all-in on him by potentially making him their most-expensive signing ever.

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