By Preye Campbell
18 goals, six assists, a bout of scintillating performances; you don’t get to hear such charming statistics about a Nigerian player in a top-flight league all the time.
Yet, that is what Victor Osimhen has done.
Rightfully so, Osimhen is a top prospect in European football at the moment. Blessed with the ability to play from the right, left or centre side of attack, his eye-catching performances for Ligue 1 side, LOSC Lille Metropole has fixed him on the limelight. And it is interesting to note that he only joined from Belgian club, Sporting Chaleroi last summer.
He is now the subject of interest from two Premier League heavyweights in Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool. Now what?
Osimhen is on the phase of a really, really exciting career. If you have been monitoring his development ever since the glory days of the 2015 U-17 World Cup, you will have no doubt as to what he is turning to be; the modern day marksman.
He seems more important if I may opine, because, with some players now retired and with a series of new blood in the current Super Eagles team, Osimhen could be vital.
Actually, he will be vital because I do not see another No. 9 in the Super Eagles set-up.
This is why any move Osimhen makes just might be a defining move for our young Super Eagles team.
Why do I have to bother?
Kelechi Iheanacho failed. Having wowed us at Manchester City, we thought Pep Guardiola was just not giving the lad a chance. Then we were elated that he sealed a move to Leicester City.
In retrospect, it wasn’t an awesome move. What’s worse that he made the move at a time when Nigeria thought she has found her own Roger Milla.
Alex Iwobi is another example. Our once vibrant forward is now more of an embattled player at Goodison Park. As compared to Iheanacho though, he may find his way back to this Eagle team. But just how many chances will he get when Gernot Rohr has an imoroving Joe Aribo?
I am happy that Osimhen’s agent, Ariyo Igbayilola, understands my narrative. I don’t want to be too quick to jump into conclusions but he doesn’t represent the typical money-sucking agent Nigerian players usually have. Although, yes, the rumored big clubs are yet to test his resolve.
Still, I admire his opinion on Osimhen moving to Spurs. No chance unless England captain Harry Kane leaves.
It is safe to say that Osimhen is the biggest Nigerian player at the moment. He is likely to lead a new Super Eagles frontline and expectedly challenge for medals.
For sure, he has conquered Lille. But, he is still a growing player who needs minutes and not the bench under his belt.
That said, I wish him more success and he should know that at this point, his next move heavily counts.