Football

English Clubs Scrabble For Nigerian Osimhen After Beating Slimani to Win French Ligue 1 Player Of The Month

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Super Eagles and Lille striker Victor Osimhen has been named French Ligue 1 player of the month for September beating Algeria and Monaco forward Islam Slimani.

Osimhen scored twice and assisted twice in four league appearances for Lille in September.

He beat Algerian forward, Islam Slimani, who plays for AS Monaco and Nantes’ Nicolas Pallois to the award.

Osimhen was on target in Lille 2-1 win against Angers SCO and the 2-0 victory at home to Strasbourg.

PARIS Saint-Germain strikers have dominated the Ligue 1 scoring charts in recent seasons. Heavyweight figures Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe are the last three winners of the Golden Boot award.

But at the moment there is a new name on top of the scoring charts and he is one you are likely to hear a lot more about in the years ahead.

Victor Osimhen has scored seven goals in nine appearances since joining Lille in the summer. The Nigeria striker — who played in a friendly against Brazil in Singapore last weekend — has found the net at a rate of a goal every 113 minutes.

Osimhen arrived in Europe at 18 and played for Wolfsburg and Charleroi before signing for Lille for £13million in August. Already that fee is starting to look a bargain for a player who turns 21 in December.

Quick, positionally clever and sharp in front of goal, Osimhen suits Lille’s counter-attacking style. Playing on the shoulder of the last defender, he is ready to race away.

When the through-ball’s well weighted, you don’t see him for dust.

Osimhen was a teenage sensation, finishing as ten-goal top scorer at the Under-17 World Cup in 2015. As Nigeria won the title, he found the net in all seven of the Super Eagles’ matches. After struggling at Wolfsburg, Osimhen was excellent for Charleroi, leading to Lille’s interest.

He has settled quickly in north-eastern France — just a short hop from where he was based in Belgium — and has made Ligue 1’s September Player of the Month award shortlist.

The youngster has started to catch the eye of high-profile observers abroad. A fortnight ago he scored his first Champions League goal, ghosting into space between defenders before heading past Kepa Arrizabalaga in Lille’s 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea.

After the game, Blues manager Frank Lampard said: ‘We knew he would pose a real challenge for our centre-backs. He’s an impressive player. He caused us lots of problems.

‘He’s very quick and does well between the lines. I think he’s got a great career ahead of him.’

Osimhen has described Lampard’s old team-mate Didier Drogba as his idol. Perhaps Stamford Bridge could be a destination for this burgeoning star once the transfer ban is lifted.

Lille have a recent history of selling their top players into the Premier League. Divock Origi, Eden Hazard and Nicolas Pepe all made the short journey across the channel.

It is starting to look like a case of when and not if Osimhen follows the same route.

 

The 20-year-old was also recently named Lille Player of the month for September. He has scored seven goals in nine league appearances this season, and seat on top of the scorers chat.

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