- May 18, 2022
Any time I've seen him his hold up play has been excellent. He's not exactly Kane when it comes to dropping deep and spraying passes around, but when balls are fired up to him they stick more often than they would for other strikers.
I like Oshimen a lot but we have Kane as an option as well so I'm pretty relaxed about the striker situation. Either is good for me.
Thanks both, much appreciated. My fear was that in the PL he'd have less time on the ball and therefore his (supposed) deficiencies on the ball would get exposed and our attacks and build up could potentially breakdown before they have chance to develop. I might have misinterpreted the extent people are talking down his ability on the ball. I wasn't aware that Napoli play possession focused football (I only watch Serie A highlights) so it's very comforting to know that he can excel in that sort of set-up. His age and current trajectory suggest he's the ideal target. Somewhat promising that there were murmurings of the Napoli president being happy to allow him to leave if they win the Scudetto. Let's wait and see...You don't need your CF to be particularly gifted in the build-up to dominate possession high in the opposition third. After all, he won't be the one building play. He just needs to be proficient enough at hold up play and linking with others.
It's not an accident that Napoli themselves are the most possession-dominant side in their league, have the most tackles in the final third (even while making the 6th fewest tackles overall), have the most touches in the final third, etc etc. You can also look at ETH's previous physicality-first strikers, who weren't exactly master technicians themselves.
What Osimhen can't do that someone like Kane can to a very high level is actively drop out of the CF position into deeper positions to create for others by spraying the ball around. But that's not something our current team particularly needs from its centre-forward given what we've mostly lacked this season is threat in the box. If we signed Kane we'd need him to stop dropping deep in the way he has in some recent seasons at Spurs.
Last season at Ajax Haller had the 3rd fewest passes and 6th fewest touches per 90min out of a squad of 30 players. Even for touches in the attacking third he was only 15th. That puts into context how often a CF in that sort of set-up is actually involved in general play relative to the rest of the team.