Galtier: Why Osimhen is absent from Lille's pre-season camp

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Victor Osimhen - Nigeria vs Benin
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The manager explained the Nigeria international forward was excused from the Mastiffs’ squad on compassionate grounds

Lille boss Christophe Galtier has explained Victor Osimhen’s absence from the Mastiffs’ pre-season camp is due to compassionate leave.

The young forward is currently in Nigeria to spend time with his family following the passing of his father.

Osimhen could yet re-join the French outfit for their preparatory schedules before the end of June but it is yet unclear when that would be.

With the French football season cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lille are left with no option than to prepare for next term  - as they would be campaigning in the Europa League.

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Speaking to the club’s website, manager Galtier gave an update about his team as well as the whereabouts of the Super Eagles star.

“Everyone is here. Timothy Weah, who returns from injury, has a week of tests, as does Yusuf Yazici who is in an evaluation phase following his return,” he said.

“The only person missing the call is Victor Osimhen, who had the misfortune of losing his father during this terrible period and who has not been able to be close to his family.

“So we decided, with the club, to leave him with his family for the funeral. He is therefore absent for a few days.

“I send to him, like all of LOSC, my full support in this difficult period.”

The 21-year-old was announced as the club’s Player of the season, following his startling displays for the French side in the 2019-20 campaign. 

Osimhen was recruited as a replacement for Cote d’Ivoire international Nicolas Pepe who joined Arsenal in a club-record fee of £72 million.

In his debut season at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, he finished as Ligue 1 top scorer in Christophe Galtier’s team, contributing 13 goals and four assists in 27 games as they finished fourth in the league table.

The in-demand Nigerian striker has been linked to Serie A outfit Napoli as well as Premier League outfits Tottenham and Liverpool.

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Meanwhile his agent Ariyo Igbayilola has insisted the striker will not be joining Spurs unless Harry Kane leaves the club.

“We told Mourinho that if he wants Victor, will Harry Kane be leaving? If Harry Kane is still playing for Tottenham will Victor play? Because he will always be benched for him,” he told The Cable.

“Kane is their number one striker and he is the captain of England, all these will always work for him in the club but at Victor’s detriment. He needs a club where he will always play full games week in, week out. Not to be kept on the bench.”

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