Aina backs Nigeria teammate Osimhen to challenge for Serie A’s ‘Capocannoniere’ award

Ola Aina has backed Super Eagles teammate Victor Osimhen to challenge for the Capocannoniere award in this season’s Italian Serie A.

The Capocannoniere award, known as Paolo Rossi Award since 2021, is awarded by the Italian Footballers’ Association to the highest goalscorer of each season in Italy’s Serie A. The award is currently held by Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 29 goals for Juventus in the 2020/2021 season.

Osimhen, 22, has been impressive for Napoli so far this campaign after struggling last season due to Covid-19 and injuries. He has found the back of the net four times in six league appearances for The Parthenopeans, and scored seven goals in eight matches in all competitions.

And Aina, who also plies his trade in the Italian topflight for Torino, believes Napoli’s record signing has overcome his struggles from last season and will be a genuine contender for the Serie A top goalscorer award.

Speaking Wednesday, on a radio programme monitored by The Guardian, the 24-year-old defender said: “I think he can do very well. The first season was stop and start for him; difficult, the whole COVID thing.

“But I think this season as you can see he has come into his stride and I think he can do very well in the league and can challenge for that top goal scorer of the season,” he told Nigeria’s Brila FM

Aina and Osimhen are expected to be in action for the Super Eagles when they face the Central African Republic in Thursday’s Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier in Lagos.

They will then travel to Douala, Cameroon, for the reverse fixture against the CAR. The Wild Beasts currently play their home fixtures in the western Cameroonian city due to the non-approval of the Bangui Stadium.

The Super Eagles are comfortably perched at the top of Group C with six points after winning their opening two games against Liberia and Cape Verde.

Back-to-back wins over the CAR will secure a spot in the World Cup playoffs for Gernot Rohr’s team if second-placed Liberia fail to replicate Nigeria’s results in their double-header against Cape Verde, who currently sit in third place.

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