With Napoli striker Victor Osimhen again being linked with a potential move away from the club in the upcoming January transfer window, it is time to turn the clock back to the summer as it pertains to the 24 year old Nigerian international’s latest interview, as he now confirmed that there was strong interest in his services from Saudi Arabian Pro League side Al-Hilal.
As fans will know, the reportedly £173 million valued attacker was in great form last season, scoring 31 goals across all competitions as he helped them to win the Serie A title, and although there was plenty of talk that Al-Hilal would meet Napoli’s valuation, they held firm and clearly that was more to do with the player, as many actually thought at the time.
“The more I said no to them, the more they increased it. That week was a huge decision for me to make but I put everything in God’s hands. It was literally like ‘wow, this is surreal’. I spoke with the people in charge and spoke about it with the club.”
Speaking on The Obi One Podcast, Osimhen was actually very open and honest about the financial rewards available to players, but despite having had the opportunity to link up with the likes of Neymar and Ruben Neves, and he is certainly not looking for a payday right now.
“They never gave up until the end of their own transfer window. I said before I played the first game of the season I really don’t want to go back thinking that it was going to change my life. But I had to make the decision what is good for my career, as much as we play football for the money.”
Osimhen’s options are likely to be almost unlimited over the next two transfer windows, with clubs across Europe and particularly, Premier League giants, taking an interest in him and given he finished the campaign of 2022/23 as the fifth highest scorer across all European leagues, the attention he is getting is fully justified, and his form is again good in the 2023/24 season – and given his age and relative experience so far, as long as he keeps his head screwed on, he is far from the finished product right now and will likely dramatically improve further over the next few years.
Having confirmed the Saudi Arabian interest in him, he did categorically dismiss the speculation last summer linking him with Chelsea and Manchester United, but he is certainly not ruling out an ‘exciting’ Premier League adventure in the future.
“I don’t have a boyhood Premier League team but I have two jerseys from my brother because I played grassroots football. I had one with Chelsea and one with Manchester United – the one with Vodafone on it. A lot of my friends were Chelsea fans and a few Manchester United, but in Nigeria everyone watches Premier League.”
Napoli fans will understandably be a little tentative in January.