Following his reported African record transfer deal from OSC Lille to SC Napoli, Nigeria forward Victor Osimhen would be one of the stars to watch as the 2020/21 Serie A kicks off this weekend in Italy.
In July, the 21-year-old and 2015 CAF Youth Player of the Year, made the headlines far and near when The Partenopei (as Napoli are nicknamed in Italy) announced his arrival from the French Ligue 1 side in a mega move; the biggest involving an African footballer.
Incidentally, Osimhen made his international breakthrough in 2015 at the U-17 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) held in Niger, where he emerged as top scorer with four goals en route to the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Chile 2015.
In Chile, Osimhen set a new scoring record at the global cadet championship, as his 10 goals in seven matches broke the long-standing record of nine goals in a single tournament previously held jointly by Frenchman Florent Sinama Pongolle and Ivorian Souleymane Coulibaly.
In addition to guiding Nigeria to the title, he was deservedly rewarded with the Golden Boot and the Silver Ball as the second-Best Player of the tournament behind compatriot Kelechi Nwakali. He was later in the same year crowned as CAF Youth Player of the Year 2015.
The youngster from Lagos-based Ultimate Strikers Academy was immediately snapped up by German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, where he had difficult start of his European career before being sent on loan in 2018 to Charleroi in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League.
Osimhen blossomed in Belgium, scoring a remarkable 20 goals in all competitions, including the record-breaking quickest goal in the history of the Belgian First Division A with an 8.15second opening goal against Antwerp on 26 May 2019. He was also declared the club’s player of the season.
Osimhen who earned his first international cap on 1st June 2017 in Nigeria’s friendly 3-0 win over Togo in Paris, was on Nigeria’s 23-man list to the 2019 Total AFCON in Egypt, where he featured only in the Bronze medal winning match against Tunisia.
With the 2019/2020 French Ligue 1 season being called off due to COVID-19 pandemic, Osimhen had scored an impressive 18 goals in 38 matches, and was picked as the winner of the Marc Vivien Foe award presented by Radio France International (RFI) for Africa’s Best Player in the French football championship for the 2019 /2020 season.
As he begins a new phase of his career with Napoli, Osimhen explained his expectations in an interview with CAFOnline.com,