“His path has been troubled” – Italian manager backs struggling Nigerian striker to rediscover best form

There were few Nigerian strikers better in front of goal than Simy Nwankwo last term, but the forward is finding it tough to find his feet at the Stadio Arechi

US Salernitana 1919 manager Stefano Colantuono has thrown his support behind Nigerian forward Simy Nwankwo ahead of his side’s crucial Serie A clash at home to fellow strugglers Sampdoria on Sunday.

Simy has not replicated his best form for Salernitana since he joined them this summer, with the Super Eagles forward managing a goal and two assists in 12 appearances for I Granata.

Last season, Simy was untouchable in the Italian Serie A. The veteran marksman netted 20 goals and supplied three assists in 38 matches, even if they were not enough to help Crotone avoid relegation.

The season before that, the Nigerian striker contributed a similar tally in 37 Serie B games to power Crotone’s successful promotion charge.

And all these convinced Salernitana to pay out a €500,000 loan fee to Crotone to sign Simy with an obligation to buy should they retain their top-flight status.

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But the former Portimonense star does not seem to enjoy manager Colantuono’s support, having been afforded just six starts so far.

Colantuono admits Simy could have benefited from playing consistently for the Garnets. Still, the pressure for immediate positive results means the head coach must continually change and chop his starting eleven.

The former Atalanta manager reveals he has spoken with the 29-year-old Nigerian, advising him to stay calm as the goals will soon start to flow.

“With Simy, I keep it very tight,” the Salernitana boss said at his pre-Sampdoria press conference, as per Tutto Salernitana.

“During a championship, there are moments when you are less brilliant.

“I talked to him; he must be calm because he has always scored. His path has been troubled; perhaps he would need continuity. But we are always on the run, and we cannot afford a single management of all the athletes.”

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Salernitana were promoted to the Serie A last season after finishing second in the second division. But the Garnets have found life challenging in the elite division, as they sit 19th on the league table after managing only two wins and a draw in 12 games.