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Chelsea ‘join the hunt’ for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen — report

Welcome back to Silly Season!

SSC Napoli v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

The January transfer window slammed shut on Tuesday, and we’ve had a whole 72 hours to enjoy (sort of) without any further rumor silliness. The award for breaking that blissful silence goes to the Mirror, who place Chelsea firmly “in the hunt” for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.

Now, obviously, it’s just the Mirror, so we could easily just ignore it. And it’s not even a very creative rumor. Osimhen will likely attract a lot of attention, say from Manchester United, especially if he keeps up his form — he’s on track for a career-best year after 14 goals in 16 Serie A games, matching a career high, and 15 goals in 20 games in all competitions, which is five off his personal best.

But Chelsea certainly are fertile ground for such a rumor, with our failures at the position exposed yet again in last night’s scoreless draw against Fulham. For all our spending and even all our successes in recent years, we haven’t had a 20-goal striker since Diego Costa — not coincidentally, the last (two) time(s) we won the league.

Osimhen’s also an interesting name in that he’s had a few turns in the Chelsea rumor mill already, ever since we came across him in the Champions League in 2019, playing for Lille (and scoring a goal against us). We even learned at the time that Chelsea were indirectly responsible for his career, inspiring him down the path of professional football.

Napoli (over?)paid a pretty penny, €70+10m for Osimhen to leave Lille after just that one season, a move that didn’t immediately pay dividends. But the 24-year-old has maintained a 1-in-2 strike rate since, rising slightly above that as of late, even, and powering Napoli’s title challenge this season. He’s failed to score in just two of his last eleven Serie A matches, collecting twelve goals in that span. The current asking price is rumored to start at £100m.

Graham Potter said this week that we shouldn’t expect Chelsea’s spending to continue at record-breaking levels. And even if wanted to, surely, we cannot keep going at the rate we have been and still balance the books. We cannot just keep spending ad infinitum, especially from mid-table. Not anymore. (Or so we were told before spending record amounts.)

We’ve made huge bets already, and we need to see them pay off — Christopher Nkunku’s set to come in (reportedly), and let’s not forget that Romelu Lukaku’s still on the books as well, unless Inter Milan somehow manage to keep him. Osimhen might be The One to break our striker curse, but we may have to miss out regardless of wants and desires.

On the other hand, BUY BUY BUY!

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