Saturday, September 26, 2020

Victor Osimhen Finally Living Up To The Hype Around Him

Juan Pablo Aravena in Editorial, Ligue 1 27 Sep 2019

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Victor Osimhen has been one of the top strikers in Europe during the first two months of the 2019-20 European season. The Lille striker has been nearly unstoppable this season, and currently ranks as the top scorer in France’s Ligue 1.

However, we must go back in time to fully understand the kind of player we are talking about. Osimhen’s name might be an unfamiliar name for the average football fan, but he has been around for a long period of time despite being only 20 years old.

Native out of Lagos in Nigeria, Osimhen first started making waves when he was a teenager and had his moment of glory during the 2015 U17 FIFA World Cup held in Chile. There, he was an instrumental part of The Super Eagles’ title run with 10 goals and scored in every single match. Scouts raved about his potential and he seemed set to make a big jump to Europe despite being only 16 years old.

Eventually, Wolfsburg signed him, and Osimhen joined the German side in January 2017. Things didn’t work out as expected, however, as the Nigerian striker couldn’t adjust to life in Germany and failed to score in 16 competitive outings for The Wolves. As a result, he was loaned to Charleroi in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League. The move to Belgium clicked things for him, and that’s when his career began to turn around.

Osimhen thrives at Charleroi and then moves to Lille

Osimhen spent the 2018-19 season on loan at Belgium and thrived there, scoring 20 goals in 36 appearances for the club across all competitions. Charleroi acquired him on a permanent basis, but later sold him to Lille ahead of the 2019-20 campaign. He debuted with a brace against Nantes and hasn’t stopped scoring since.

Ahead of Week 8 in France’s top-flight, Osimhen is the league’s joint-top scorer with six goals alongside Lyon’s Moussa Dembele. He also returned to the Nigeria National Team and even played in the 2019 African Cup of Nations in the process. As he stated in an interview with BBC when he was in Belgium, Osimhen seems to have found his happiness again.

That’s noticeable given the way he has been playing over the past few months. And if we consider he’s only 20 years old, then he has all the time in the world to become one of the top strikers in the world. He could become African’s best attacker since the days of Didier Drogba or Samuel Eto’o.

It’s up to him to reach his potential. But Osimhen seems to be on the right track right now.


Juan Pablo Aravena

A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.



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