Osimhen in Lille: From 0-goal striker for the "Wolves" to the most successful Ligue 1 attacker
When looking at the Ligue 1 top scorers list, many fans of VfL Wolfsburg are currently rubbing their eyes: Victor Osimhen (photo), in his one and a half years with the "Wolves" in 14 appearances without a competitive goal, turned up at the LOSC Lille and scored as the most successful professional in the league, already seven goals. Outside the Bundesliga, the 20-year-old attacker is experiencing the steep climb that VfL had hoped to sign in January 2017.
The signs were not bad at first: Osimhen attracted international attention as the top scorer of the U17 World Cup in 2015 and was voted Africa's best youth player in the same year. Despite the well-known competition, the Nigerian finally decided to move to Wolfsburg - the Bundesliga team paid 3.5 million euros to the Ultimate Strikers Academy.
But what was celebrated as a transfer coup in many places became more and more a flop: the striker never really got a foothold in Wolfsburg due to several injuries, followed in summer 2018 by a loan to Belgium for the RSC Charleroi. “Osimhen did not go as well as Wolfsburg imagined. That's why the club decided to lend the player, ”Mehdi Bayat, managing director of the Belgians, told France3.
Initially, however, the attacker was offered to Brugge FC. “Victor had caught malaria back then and was not in good shape. When Osimhen completed his medical check-up in Bruges, they therefore refrained from making any commitments - that was our chance. ”An opportunity that Charleroi more than paid off: Not only did Osimhen score 20 goals across all competitions last season - the Belgians secured a purchase option with the deal in Wolfsburg. In view of an increase in the market value from 1 to 13 million euros, the payment of 3.5 million euros was a bargain this summer.
According to Bayat, interested parties were already lining up in winter, including AC Milan. The farewell to Charleroi finally took place on August 1st: "We had financially more lucrative offers on the table, but Victor really wanted to go to Lille." The French cost the services of the international 12 million euros. As President & nbsp; Gérard López & nbsp; recently revealed, they had had Osimhen on their cards for a long time: "We wanted to understand why he had such big problems in Wolfsburg. We not only considered the statistics, but also exchanged information with him and his surroundings. We quickly realized that we could use it to sign one of the most talented attackers in the world. He was sick and injured, but he definitely still had it. ”
Since the beginning of the season, Osimhen has impressively demonstrated that López was right in his assessment. Against Chelsea, he recently scored his first goal in the Champions League. "He has the ability to create and score goals from little opportunities," praised his coach Christophe Galtier recently. “As a team, we can only play a strong season if the players do that too. Last season I was asked if we weren't too dependent on Nicolas Pépé, now it's the same with Osimhen. Each team depends on one or two players. "
Pépé shaped the strong team of the runner-up last season and finally switched to Arsenal for 80 million euros. A success story that Osimhen can now live through, according to Bayat. “For him, Lille is just a transit station, just like Charleroi was. He will change and Lille will make him his new record departure. Like they did with Pépé, but in my opinion Osimhen will be even more expensive. ”He is also certain that the Nigerian will be the top scorer in the French league this season. If these forecasts prove to be true, not only Wolfsburg fans will soon rub their eyes.
Just wait and see before giving up a young talent ... but patience is not required in the business anyway, especially since Wolfsburg was in crisis at the time Osimhen was there ...
Afterwards you are always smarter. Criticizing VfL for this is of course easy. However, you couldn't see much about Osimhen's talent over the years. On the one hand we were in a very difficult situation and on the other hand Osimhen was just very young.
It is understandable that he had to be handed in after Ginczek and Weghorst were signed. Then Osimhen failed test runs in Belgium. This should be enough incentive for you to think again about criticizing the management of Wolfsburg. If the rumors about the resale participation are correct, it looks very different.
Even if things are going great again for the Wolfsburgers and you have an absolute top striker with Weghorst, you still have to criticize them for Osimhen!