Serie A 2022/23: Player of the Season – Victor Osimhen

There were a number of contenders for the Serie A Player of the Season, with many being from Napoli's title-winning side. For us, though, nobody shone brighter than Victor Osimhen this season.

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With Napoli crushing all before them as they cruised to their first scudetto in 33 years, there were plenty of candidates from their title-winning squad to pick from in the race to win Serie A Player of the Season. But it was striker Victor Osimhen who stood out and shone even brighter than all of his teammates in Campania to win our Serie A Player of the Season award. Naturally, Osimhen also leads the line in our Team of the Season.

When the Nigerian arrived for a club record €70m in July 2020 from Lille. Some questioned the decision of Aurelio De Laurentiis to hand over such a significant sum of money for a then-21-year-old, who was untested in Italy.

Osimhen has more than repaid the faith the Partenopei owner placed in him, spearheading the team’s charge toward the Serie A title and scoring a third of their goals en route to the scudetto.

Osimhen becomes immortal at Napoli

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen with the Serie A title. (@en_sscnapoli)

With 26 Serie A goals in 2022/23, plus five in six Champions League appearances, only three players have scored more goals in a single season for the club. Dries Mertens, Napoli’s all-time leading marksman, scored 28 in 2016/17; Edinson Cavani reached 29 in 2012/13; and Gonzalo Higuain achieved a joint Serie A record haul of 36 in 2015/16.

Unlike those Partenopei legends, though, Osimhen took the club to a scudetto, setting them on the road to victory with the first goal on 10 occasions and he was personally responsible for 14 points obtained this term, which was only bettered by Lautaro Martinez (15) of Inter and Spezia frontman M’Bala Nzola (16).

Osimhen also had the best minutes-to-goal ratio in Serie A of players who had scored five of more goals, averaging around 99 minutes per goal, and just two penalties contributed to his tally.

Capocannoniere winner

Victor Osimhen in action. (@sscnapoli)

With Osimhen clinching the capocannoniere crown – Serie A’s top goalscorer award – he reversed a recent trend of seasonal top scorers failing to lift the title at the end of the campaign, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic the last to do so with Inter in 2008/09, and only David Trezeguet (Juventus in 2001/02) and Andriy Shevchenko (2003/04 with AC Milan) also achieving the feat since the turn of the millennium.

His capocannoniere is also huge in the context of African players’ contribution to Italian football, as his 26 goals were more than the previous record of 21 by Samuel Eto’o in 2010/11 and took the striker to a half-century of Serie A strikes, surpassing Liberian legend George Weah, who reached 46 at Milan.

Amid strong interest from Premier League side Manchester United and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, there will be plenty of speculation relating to Osimhen’s future on the peninsula, but whenever he decides to leave Italy, he will have left a long-lasting mark on the championship.

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