Injured Osimhen ‘mad’ and ‘upset’ after missing Napoli trip to AZ Alkmaar
The Nigeria striker is yet to recover from the dislocated shoulder he suffered during the last international break against Sierra Leone
The 21-year-old suffered a dislocated shoulder during Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against Sierra Leone on November 13, after scoring a goal in the 4-4 draw at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
The Parthenopeans left Naples on Wednesday for Alkmaar and Gattuso has revealed how Osimhen felt after he was dropped from his 20-man travelling squad.
“It bothers me to see him mad and not smiling,” Gattuso said, per Gianluca Di Marzio. “He is upset and that is normal. We must ease him back in, we hope he will heal as quickly as possible.”
Osimhen has scored two goals in six Serie A matches since he arrived from Lille in the summer, however, Gattuso reserved praise for Dries Mertens as he chases his first goal in the European competition this season.
“Mertens pushes and helps his teammates even when his play is spotty,” he said.
“He knows that he hasn't been scoring but he is critical for our team spirit. He helps keep us together and he should improve."
Napoli sit at the top of Group F table with nine points after four matches - two points above second-placed Real Sociedad and Thursday's hosts AZ Alkmaar.
Gattuso has warned his team against complacency as they aim to secure their place in the Europa League last-16.
He added; “Their team is strong technically and we cannot permit ourselves to be lazy.
“Quality wins some matches, but not all. If you want to win, it takes head and heart. We play together in good and bad, it will be a tough match tomorrow. I haven't decided on a formation, I will take things into consideration."