Football News

Chelsea need a striker like Victor Osimhen, says Shaun Wright-Phillips

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:44, 25 October 2023

Chelsea need someone like Victor Osimhen to alleviate their problems in front of goal, according to Shaun Wright-Phillips.

After the opening nine rounds of this Premier League season Mauricio Pochettino’s side have 13 goals, which is less than all but one of England’s now considered ‘Big Six’ clubs (Manchester United with 11).

Excluding the promoted and relegated teams, only Crystal Palace (30), Everton (30) and Bournemouth (25) have netted fewer top-flight goals in 2023, with Chelsea on just 32 strikes. Even more concerning is when looking at each side’s big chance conversion rate, no team who played in the Premier League this whole year is producing a worse figure.

Matters were not helped when big summer acquisition Christopher Nkunku sustained a serious knee injury on the eve of their 2023/24 campaign. Nicolas Jackson, another forward who joined the Blues, has been thrust into the spotlight but Wright-Phillips isn’t convinced. The former Chelsea and Manchester City winger even offered a candidate to replace him as lead striker when Betway asked if the Blues need to sign another in January.

“To be honest, I’m a massive fan of Osimhen. I think he would fit Chelsea and the way they play very, very well,” he told Betway.

“I think Jackson has struggled in terms of putting the ball in the back of the net. I think the runs that he makes, normally, are all good runs.

“He’s not too often offside from what I’ve seen, so his runs are perfect, and if you look at the chance that Sterling gave them at the weekend, in a game like that you need a striker that’s going to finish those chances and put the game to bed.”

Osimhen joined Napoli in 2020 and played an integral role in ending their long-held wait to be crowned Italian champions last season. The marksman from Lagos bagged 26 goals across 32 league outings, subsequently winning Serie A’s top scorer award.

However, last month the Nigeria international was mocked by the club’s own social media account for missing a penalty. It led to Osimhen’s agent threatening legal action before a Napoli statement said it was “never the club’s intent to offend Victor” should he “have perceived it that way”.

The social media post has since been deleted but there is renewed tension stemming from Osimhen’s contract situation. His current deal expires in 2025 and club owner Aurelio De Laurentiis was recently reported to have suggested Osmihen has had a change of heart on an extension, after initially positive talks.

Publicly, Napoli say they are hopeful Osmihen will extend his contract and that De Laurentiis’ comments were distorted by media.

“President De Laurentiis did not say anything negative about Victor,” read the club’s statement this week.

“He simply stated that after a series of lengthy contract negotiations which ended with the parties shaking hands and agreeing to continue together, Victor had second thoughts.

“President De Laurentiis hopes this is merely a pause for reflection. Over the coming weeks, when Victor will not be able to play as he recovers from injury, the president, Osimhen and his agent Roberto Calenda will sit down calmly to discuss the future.

“Describing relations between Osimhen and Napoli as frosty is entirely out of place.”