News Matches

‘Osimhen can make the same impact as Maradona’ – Nigerian backed to ‘break records’ at Napoli

18:30 BST 25/07/2020
Victor Osimhen
The Serie A outfit are in the process of finalising a deal for the Lille frontman and Amaju Pinnick is tipping him to star in Italian football

Victor Osimhen is capable of making a similar impact at Napoli as Diego Maradona once did, says the head of Nigerian football Amaju Pinnick.

The highly-rated 21-year-old forward is in the process of completing a move to Italy from Lille.

His signature has been much coveted, but those in Naples appear to have won the race.

Big things are expected from Osimhen in the future, with 38 goals recorded across the last two seasons at Charleroi and Lille, and Pinnick believes he could “break the records” of an all-time great.

The president of the Nigeria Football Federation told Radio Kiss Kiss of a player with nine caps for the Super Eagles: “I think Victor Osimhen is an excellent signing for Napoli.

“I’ve followed them from when they had Diego Armando Maradona. Naples is a proud city and also in football terms.

“Osimhen’s a source of pride for African football. He’s someone who is disciplined but focused on objectives, and if he wants something, he knows how to get it.

“He made the right decision for his career. I already believe he’ll receive the right support from the club and its fans.

“Napoli are the right club for him to achieve important results, and Osimhen will always give his best.

“I’ll say it now: Victor will do everything possible to match and even break the records set by a legend like Maradona.

“I talked to Victor just a few minutes ago, he’s very excited about his new experience and new club.

“Napoli is a big name in world football. It’ll be a new challenge for him and he told me: ‘President, I’ll make Naples proud'.

“If he gets the right support, I guarantee he’ll stick to his word and make you all proud. Believe in him and he’ll help the team achieve their objectives.

“I’ll come to Naples next season to watch some of their games. Osimhen is young and could stay at Napoli for a long time.

“As I already said, he’ll be playing for a great team and his quality justifies the investment made by Napoli, who believe in Victor’s huge potential.

“We’re talking about a player who won the [U-17] World Cup in Chile in 2016. I’ve already wished him all the best.”

The deal that Napoli are putting in place for Osimhen is said to be worth around €60 million (£55m/$70m), with the Serie A outfit having fended off reports of rival interest from the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal.