SSC Napoli have delightfully announced the signing of Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen from Lille on a permanent transfer.
The 21-year-old striker, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria on 29 December 1998, came through the youth ranks at Ultimate Strikers Academy in Lagos and turned professional shortly after his 18th birthday when he joined Wolfsburg.
He spent the 2017/18 season in Germany before moving to Charleroi on loan the following year. He was an instant success in the Jupiler Pro League, netting 20 goals in 36 appearances.
Lille snapped him up in the summer of 2019 and he went on to play 38 times for the French side, bagging 18 goals in the process.
Osimhen helped Nigeria win the U17 World Cup in 2015 when he finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 10 goals. He made his full Nigeria debut in June 2017 and so far has 10 caps and four goals to his name.
His displays at that World Cup also earned him a move to Wolfsburg but Osimhen, who turned down Arsenal to play in Germany’s Bundesliga, admitted to struggling as he slowly adapted to both the league and European football.
After a barren season in which the striker, affected by injury, did not score in 16 games, he moved to Belgium where the goals soon flowed – 19 in his first campaign at Charleroi, where he was originally on loan before making the move permanent.
Napoli’s website gave very few details of the deal simply saying: “SSC Napoli are delighted to announce the signing of Victor Osimhen from Lille on a permanent transfer.”
According to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, the deal is worth more than $96m (81.3m euros) making him the most expensive African player of all time.
Napoli have now paid more than what English side Arsenal paid Lille for Ivory Coast’s Nicolas Pepe a year ago.
Osimhen had joined Lille from Belgium’s Charleroi as a replacement for Pepe.
After scoring 18 goals in all competitions for Lille last season, the 21-year-old had been linked for several weeks with Napoli.
In June he was named Lille’s player of the season in what was his first campaign in France, and the Nigerian was also named in Ligue 1’s team of the season.