Victor Osimhen has been recognized among the 30 nominees for the 2023 Ballon d’Or Award following his title-winning achievement with Napoli last season
Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has added to the conversation about Victor Osimhen’s big offer from Saudi Arabia in the summer transfer window, Soccernet.ng reports.
The 24-year-old had the best year in his professional career last season, contributing 26 Serie A goals to help Napoli win first Scudetto in 33 years, and also achieved the feat of being the first African player in the history of the Italian top flight to win the top scorer award.
His remarkable season for the Parthenopeans brought attraction from the likes of Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, and Chelsea in the summer window but none of the clubs was able to strike a deal with Napoli before the closure of the window.
Al Hilal from Saudi Arabia also asked for the services of the Nigerian forward after they failed to persuade Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe to move to the Middle East, with reports suggesting Napoli rejected two big offers in the region of £130 million and £140 million respectively.
If the deal had materialized, Osimhen would have been earning a salary in the range of around £1 million in a week at Al Hilal, making him one of the highest-paid footballers in the world.
Peseiro believes that it was a head-turning offer considering that Osimhen would have earned five times what any European club can offer him but won’t find the same level of competition as the Serie A and Uefa Champions League in Saudi Arabia.
He said: Osimhen initially thought about leaving, but then he decided to stay and do his best in Naples. And I’m happy to see him still competing for big goals in Europe, Peseiro said to La Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted by ilmionapoli.it
He continued: I feared he might arrive sad but instead I found him unleashed: he worked and showed beautiful things. He played fantastic matches, scoring 3 goals. He ended the qualifiers with 10 goals, best scorer. Now let’s hope he helps us win the Africa Cup of Nations. He was the usual Victor, happy and smiling: it’s a benefit for everyone
On Osimhen’s decision to stay in Naples, the Super Eagles head coach said: But Victor is very happy in Naples. For his growth path, staying in Europe and showing off in the Champions League remains the best path. He is young and has time to demonstrate his talent. Then I understand that when faced with certain offers one can falter: two seasons in Arabia are worth more than ten in Europe, but money is not everything. Victor improved a lot in Italy.
The 24-year-old has seen his Ballon d’Or nomination followed by another nomination for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award, adding to his favorite tag for the 2023 African Footballer of the Year award.