The Napoli forward and the Villarreal winger are already among the most sought after youngsters in Europe, and Nigeria’s top football administrator is tipping them for greater heights
President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick is impressed with the career trajectory of Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen.
The top executive expects the Napoli striker and his compatriot Samuel Chukwueze to become two of Africa’s best players in the nearest future.
Osimhen burst into the international limelight, alongside the exciting Chukwueze, when he netted an unprecedented ten goals to inspire the Golden Eaglets to a historic fifth FIFA U-17 World Cup at Chile 2015.
German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg snapped up Osimhen after that tournament, but it was at Sporting Charleroi that he showed his predatory skills, scoring 37 goals in 38 games to seal a move to French side Lille last year.
An equally impressive season followed in France where the 21-year-old found the back of the net 18 times in all competitions to emerge as Lille’s Best Player of the Year.
Napoli then beat all comers to Osimhen’s signature this summer to seal an 81.3 million euros deal, making the youngster the most expensive African player in history.
In a similar vein, Chukwueze has been a revelation in La Liga with the Chile 2015 Bronze Ball winner tied down to a contract with a release clause of 100 million euros at Villarreal.
Pinnick maintains that due to their commitment at club and international level, both players’ best is yet to come.
“If you look at Osimhen he started from U17, that was when I just newly got elected, I led them to Chile, and he was the highest goalscorer in that tournament, and he started from Wolfsburg then to one other club on loan then to Lille and now to Napoli,” Pinnick said to Arise TV.
“Osimhen and Chukwueze, they are the next big thing to come out from the continent of Africa because these players are so passionate about the game of football and their country.”
Osimhen is still being awaited in the Nigerian camp in Benin City as the Super Eagles prepare to take on the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone on Friday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
Pinnick provides the reasons behind the striker’s late arrival, highlighting the youngster’s passion and commitment.
“Osimhen called me two days ago an airline could not carry him because of XYZ, and he said clearly that do I get another ticket, we said no, we are going to get the ticket for you, and I’m happy that he has arrived.”
Osimhen is the joint-leading goalscorer of the Afcon qualifying series with three goals.
The Napoli forward netted a brace against in the 4-2 defeat of Lesotho and scored a penalty in the 2-1 win against the Benin Republic.