Napoli sensation Victor Osimhen has become the most successful African footballer in Serie A history by scoring the only goal in their win over Fiorentina last week.
His winning penalty, the 23rd in a remarkable season which propelled Napoli to their first Scudetto since 1990, was goal No.47 in the Italian top flight, taking him past former AC Milan star George Weah, winner of the Ballon d’Or in the 90s, in the history books.
Weah had produced his total of 46 Serie A goals from 1995 to 2000, but Osimhen set a new record for African players in two years less.
Much like the Liberian striker, Nigerian Osimhen is a panther-like striker who scores extraordinary goals and has the speed to match Arsenal legend Thierry Henry in his prime.
Although unlike Henry, the 24-year-old has been scoring consistent goals since his late teens, proving himself a concrete centre-forward, a true number nine.
Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has become the most successful African in Serie A history
Osimhen’s penalty helped Napoli beat Fiorentina last week and took their tally to 23 goals
Napoli lost their last match 2-0 against Monza but the title is already in the bag
After delivering a Scudetto that was missing in Napoli for 33 years, there are now a lot of worries about Osimhen’s future in the city. The player has gained international fame thanks to his tremendous season and he has already admitted his dream of one day playing in the Premier League.
“I’m doing my best to achieve my goals and maybe play in the Premier League one day,” he told Sky Sports, “but I’m enjoying the moment.”
He overtook Liberian striker George Weah as Africa’s all-time top goalscorer in Serie A.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis recently told Cinque Minuti that he has no intention of selling Osimhen, who has two years left to complete his contract, although he did not mention any details of his contract. possible renewal.
“I will not sell Osimhen. They offered me €2.5bn (£2m) for my squad and then €1bn for Napoli, I turned down both offers,” he said. “We have to make precise budgets according to what the market offers, as entrepreneurs: in football, as in life, there are several types.”
The question that Napoli fans keep asking in all corners of town reveals many concerns: what would happen if the player asked to move to the Premier League? A legitimate question given his recent admission to Sky Sports.
Giovanni Simeone and Giacomo Raspadori are excellent strikers but they can’t even be considered sufficient substitutes for Osimhen. For this reason, the sale of the African striker would force Napoli to search for another top centre-forward in the market.
Osimhen’s contract expires in 2025 but Napoli, also given De Laurentiis’ words, want to lock him down on a new deal as soon as possible and deter potential offers from abroad by adding lucrative bonuses to his 4.5m current euros (£4 million). As things stand, however, no official offers have been made.
Napoli face a fight to keep Osimhen this summer with a host of top clubs circling
Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis is desperate to tie him down to an extended contract
In the coming weeks, the club will submit their final proposal and Osimhen will assess what to do next.
With Napoli desperate to keep him, doubts remain over the signing of a player who knows he is currently among Europe’s top three strikers. If he signed a Premier League contract today, he would earn three times the salary he is currently earning in Serie A.
According to Tuttosport, the Nigerian international is attracting the attention of a host of top foreign clubs, including Chelsea, PSG and Bayern Munich – but especially Manchester United, who have been in the hunt for a centre-forward for some time. time. So far, however, Napoli have rejected any approach for Osimhen.
Without him, Napoli would lose 50 per cent of their attacking potential but rake in over €120m (£104m), making a bumper financial gain. Their desire to win the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history is real, but Osimhen will need assurances on the investments they plan to make to launch another title bid and help him stay. Serie A top scorer next season.
In Naples, he is a king, an extraordinary man who found with Lille an immense warmth and affection that he had never received in France.
Right now, Napoli have a potentially unique opportunity to start a winning streak. And to do this, it is essential for them to keep at least three of the four jewels in their crown.
Along with Osimhen, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Stanislav Lobotka and Kim Min-jae represent the team’s four benchmarks and as it stands Kim seems the only player close to saying goodbye to Serie A for around 60 million euros (£52 million).
Yet unlike the South Korean defender, Osimhen is seen as irreplaceable by Napoli staff as well as the perfect striker for Luciano Spalletti’s system.