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Spalletti: ‘It becomes difficult without Osimhen’

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti believes it is a difficult situation for his team without Victor Osimhen in the squad: ‘He has this physicality and speed’. The Partenopei have struggled in recent weeks, slumping to a 4-0 defeat against Milan before scraping a 2-1 draw against Lecce last night, thank to a second-half Antonino Gallo own-goal. Speaking with Sky Sport Italia after the match, Spalletti touched on the difficulties his team is facing, despite being so close to clinching the Serie A title, and how Osimhen’s absence is being felt ahead of a crucial run of matches:

“Giovanni Simeone has to be assessed well, he had a little problem at the back. First it seemed muscular, then he felt just above the knee, so he has to be assessed. Osimhen would like to play all the games, even when he’s in the car (laughs, ed). But there are situations that must be evaluated well, in my opinion the doctors have found the right solution, because he would have risked being out for the rest of the championship. For now he’s only been doing some mild running.”

“It wasn’t down to me, if players don’t have quality you can’t put it on them. It becomes difficult without him, he has this physicality and speed, you can throw twenty clubs at him…. It becomes easier for the team when he has the ball. We have faith in getting him back, but in my opinion Raspadori did a good first half tonight, he sewed it up well. We could have done even better, we turned over too many balls to the two centre-backs, but we played with great balance. They were coming from five defeats and these environments always transmit the maximum.”

“The match against Milan was delicate from a mental point of view, because we lost it 4-0 against the next Champions League opponent. Everyone thinks about that thing there…. They look like filler matches but they’re not. To be able to do achieve same performance that has marked our position in table so far was fundamental. So congratulations are due to the players.

“Di Lorenzo? The captain’s armband has given him even more strength and responsibility. It’s great to see him come to the camp and demonstrate his behaviour on and off the pitch. He has character and continuity, it’s something that makes the coaches who have him feel lucky. We’ve often talked about modern players, it’s often easier if you play in the middle of the pitch. He, despite being a defender, is truly modern in attacking the defensive line, in scoring goals, in being of iron character. He’s a wonderful guy.”

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