Gennaro Gattuso warned Napoli fans not to get over-excited after Victor Osimhen’s debut hat-trick. ‘We didn’t sign Pele or Diego Maradona, just a player who brings something different.’
The Partenopei had their first pre-season friendly, with two 45-minute matches that ended 10-0 against Castel di Sangro and 11-0 with L’Aquila.
“I am satisfied with the world we’re doing, the team is motivated and knows what it wants,” the coach told Radio Kiss Kiss and Sky Sport Italia.
“We are all aware that we have to improve in so many respects. We’ve got to do better when off the ball, be able to cover every inch of the field and find the right balance.
“More importantly, stamina, because I still can’t believe we basically scored three goals against ourselves against Barcelona in the Champions League. We’ve got to stay totally focused for 90 minutes.
“We must be aware that what we did last season wasn’t enough to qualify for the Champions League, so we must all do more and believe strongly in what we are doing.”
Osimhen made a huge impact, scoring a hat-trick within eight minutes of his debut.
“It’s too easy to get excited now, we’ve got to give him time and let him work, not put pressure on,” insisted Gattuso of the €80m signing from Lille.
“He is an important player and we paid a lot for him, but there were no doubts he would give us something different that we haven’t had in my time here. There’s a long way to go.
“It’s not like we suddenly signed Pele or Maradona, we simply brought in a player with certain characteristics that can help us.”
In order to accommodate Osimhen, Gattuso changed his system to a 4-2-3-1, with Hirving Lozano, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne fanning out behind the Nigerian centre-forward.
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