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Osimhen’s Napoli move represents new era in Nigerian media

Victor Osimhen to Napoli

Good morning and welcome back to my blog. I’ll start on a cherry note as today looks quite good to me. Victor Osimhen will become a Napoli player this week according to reports, by reports, I mean from Oma Akatugba. He is a Nigerian sports Journalist who is accredited by UEFA. Rarely you read a big transfer story involving a Nigerian player in Europe and credit given to a Nigerian reporter. That is about to change.

Sincerely speaking, that has already changed with Osimhen’s record move to Napoli. Akatugba reported earlier this week that the Super Eagles forward completed his medical and will sign a four-year deal contract with the Italian giant. The deal is expected to cost Napoli £80 million which will set a new record for a transfer involving Nigerian and African players.

By now, everyone knows Osimhen will play for Napoli next season, but have you seen the photographs of Napoli fans giving due credit to Ama on social media? It’s hilarious and at the same time, goes to show how grateful the Italians are of the news. They are even making sure Fabrizio Romano does not take credit for the story, that is very heartwarming and it makes Naples one of the cities I will like to visit and hopefully have some pizzas and other free stuffs.

For the records, Oma has given all Nigerians (hahahaha) free pizzas in Naples and I cannot stay here in Uyo and miss out on a free pizza. This is the beginning of the journey for Nigerians, in the past five days, lots of Nigerians have started following Napoli social media handles just because of a kid whose story I’ll go narrate in a bit will play for the team next season.

In 2014, I had a young footballer named Victor Abbot in my books, I’ve known him since he was five, playing football in the streets of Uyo with mesmeric skills and passing range beyond his age. He grew up to play as an attacking midfielder for local clubs; with pace, power, precision and guile. To cut it short, he was in the same training camp with Osimhen before the 2015 World Cup in Chile. The open training camp welcomed thousands of young footballers and Coach Emmanuel Amuneke was just tired of seeing them. Boom, Osimhen scored twice during the 15-minutes that was given to them.

We left the field like other sets before us, but one of the coaches called the attention of Amuneke to at least give Osimhen another chance to come back the following day which the coach accepted. Unfortunately, it was not my Victor that was called but the journey of another Victor (Osimhen) started there with the likes of Iheanacho, Chukwueze and Nwakali.

Osimhen went on to set a new record in Chile, scoring 10 goals as Nigeria won the FIFA U17 World Cup for a record five times. Everyone knows the story after that. He was another Nigeria Under 17 star failing on the wayside after a sterling tournament like Macauley Chrisantus before him, had a very difficult time at Wolfburg, then moved on loan to RSC Charleroi before joining Lille last summer.

Osimhen is an incredible story, from the slums and streets selling newspapers in Lagos to becoming the most expensive African footballer in five years is really amazing. In 2015, I told someone while watching the U17 World Cup that Osimhen is the kind of player that will set leagues ablaze if he keeps his head down and do the basics that the game requires. He is a street footballer who has passed through difficult stages on his way to stardom.

It sounds so positive that a Nigerian is going to cost that much in a transfer window. Gone are the days Nigerian players will move from Turkey to Uzbekistan for a reported fee of 250,000 Euros, signing a one year contract before making a move to Asia. This transfer is liberation to other Nigerian footballers that hardwork and trust in their abilities will take them to greatness.

Also, I think it is a big risk on the part of Napoli to splash such a huge amount on Osimhen. With due respect Napoli, Osimhen will not want to end his career in Naples – Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Arsenal, Juventus and others are bigger destinations for the striker and will be seeking a move in three years.

Heavy transfer fee comes with expectations and for the sake of all, I hope he will continue his development and propel Napoli to another Scudetto title. We are just tired of seeing Juventus win the league year after year and will be very Nigerian to make Cristiano Ronaldo and the Old Ladies sad for a number of years.

Go son and make us proud!

Also, for our Italian fans, keep an eye on Osimhen, next season’s golden boot winner and player of the year…someone should please say this in Italian in the comment section.

I’ll leave it here for today, hope to return tomorrow (haha) for another blog and what have you. For other news developing today, check the site throughout the day. We’ve not been able to record a podcast in the last two weeks but you can still listen to the one I spoke with Ama Ignis on the Nigerian football. Links below.

Till tomorrow… #OsimhenNapoliFC


Download the latest episode of The Athletic NG NPFL podcast. Links below.


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