Osimhen enjoys finest hour with Napoli but 'remarkable room for improvement'

Burley: Man United are in the title race after win vs. Man City (1:16)

Craig Burley believes Man United are in the Premier League title race after their 2-1 win over Man City. (1:16)

This has already been a season of new horizons for Victor Osimhen, but his performance in Napoli's 5-1 evisceration of Juventus last weekend may represent yet more new ground broken by the Nigerian.

Rumours persist that he's bound for Manchester United which, if true, could see him working under the tutelage of Benni McCarthy, a legendary African striker who was also in the headlines at the weekend.

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Elsewhere, Osimhen's compatriot Terem Moffi extended his fine scoring run in France, while Hamari Traore eclipsed Achraf Hakimi in another tricky outing for Paris Saint-Germain.

Napoli outclassed Juventus in every area when the sides collided at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in the biggest Serie A fixture of the weekend, with Luciano Spalletti's side looking to maintain their return to form after their recent setback against Internazionale by putting the fallen heavyweights of the Italian game to the sword.

Few could have imagined they would have romped to victory so emphatically, with Osimhen delivering perhaps the best performance of his career.

He scored twice and registered an assist while dovetailing superbly with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who also had a hand in three goals.

Italian daily La Repubblica christened the pair the "goal twins" in a weekend edition, in a nod to the late Gianluca Vialli, who earned the nickname alongside Roberto Mancini for the pair's goalscoring exploits at Sampdoria in the early 1990s.

The duo's danger in front of goal inspired Samp to the first Scudetto in their history, and Osimhen's form has set Napoli back on track to end their 33-year wait for a Serie A crown; they sit nine points clear atop the table after 18 matches, with nearest challengers AC Milan dropping four points in their past two fixtures.

"Osimhen is such a great striker," Spalletti said after the match. "The potential he has is scary, I'm excited to see what he can do in future.

"He still has a remarkable amount of room for improvement."

The striker now has 11 goals in 11 appearances since returning from injury in mid-October, with the pause for the FIFA World Cup seemingly only fuelling his desire to win the Golden Boot.

He has 12 goals for the season, three ahead of compatriot Ademola Lookman, Lautaro Martinez and M'bala Nzola, although it's worth noting the African duo both enjoyed an excellent weekend in what is emerging as a fantastic campaign for the continent's forwards in Italy.

Lookman scored twice in Atalanta's 8-2 demolition of Salernitana, while Angola's Nzola bagged the only goal of the game as Spezia downed Torino.

Neither can compare with Osimhen, however, who appears to have George Weah's all-time Serie A record in his sights.

The Liberia great -- the only African player to win the Ballon d'Or -- bagged 46 goals in 114 Serie A games for Milan during his storied spell at the club, while Osimhen, despite featuring in just 65 games for the Partenopei, already has 36 top-flight goals.

Perhaps Osimhen has enjoyed greater individual outings in his career -- remember the double against Leicester City in 2021, the hat-trick against Sassuolo, and the recent brace in the friendly versus Bayern Munich -- but never before has he played such an outstanding role in as magnificent a team performance.

Resurgent Juve were completely undone by Napoli's use of the ball and exploitation of space, with the hosts clearly targeting their play through Osimhen, whose work down the channels exposed the Old Lady's lack of defensive nous on either side of their remodelled defence.

His pace, determination and strength made him an excellent outlet for Napoli, while his improving anticipation, awareness and hunger in the box ensured the visitors were shown little mercy when chances did come his way.

Napoli, with such a cushion at the top of the table, would require a startling collapse and drop of form to cede the initiative in the title race, while Osimhen looks to be entering the decisive stages of a truly remarkable campaign.

The Nigerian is surely destined for bigger things, and some Manchester United fans took to social media at the weekend to grumble about the club's decision to sign striker Wout Weghorst on loan from Burnley rather than recruit Osimhen.

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Their discontent did, however, raise the prospect of Osimhen working closely with United's striking coach, McCarthy, who was himself the subject of praise as the Red Devils dispatched Manchester City in the derby.

Speaking ahead of the derby, ex-United left-back Patrice Evra lauded the impact the Bafana Bafana legend and all-time top scorer is having on the club's attacking players, specifically Marcus Rashford.

"We need to give credit to Benni McCarthy," Evra said. "He's responsible for all the forward players and you can see he is doing a good job. Maybe he is the one saying to Marcus that he needs to score more goals and be a killer."

Rashford duly turned out to be the hero of the derby -- netting the winner after playing a controversial role in Bruno Fernandes' opener -- with supporters taking to social media in the aftermath of the contest to echo Evra's words and praise McCarthy's impact on the England striker.

The audible cheer McCarthy received at Old Trafford when he acknowledged the fans is also evidence of the burgeoning respect he's being afforded by the club's fans.

Under the South African's guidance, and with confidence flowing, Rashford has hit a purple patch of scoring eight goals in eight games since the World Cup.

Just imagine what McCarthy could achieve with Osimhen if he were to get the opportunity to work with the Super Eagle one day.

In France, League 1 leaders PSG fell to their second defeat in three games as they were dispatched 1-0 by Stade Rennais, with Traore scoring the only goal of the game.

The Mali international, who has emerged as a transfer target for Fulham in recent weeks, led by example for the Europe-chasing hosts and met Adrien Truffert's cross with a left-footed effort to ensure another setback for the reigning champions.

Hakimi was relegated to the bench for the capital club, having struggled in their shock 3-1 defeat by Lens on New Year's Day, and he was unable to influence proceedings positively after being introduced with half-an-hour to play.

Kylian Mbappe was also ineffectual after being introduced alongside Mbappe, and he finds himself looking over his shoulder in the scoring charts after Nigeria's Moffi moved up to 12 goals in 18 games, just one strike behind the World Cup final hat-trick hero.

Moffi's goal wasn't enough to prevent Lorient from falling to a 3-1 defeat at Marseille.