Is time right for Man United to sign Osimhen

Identifying talents in sports generally and football in particular can be a tough challenge. From grassroots to elite level there are numerous scouts and coaches who attend games to try and uncover the hidden gem and develop their potential.

In football, a large number of specific skills, both psychological and technical can be developed over a period of time, while potential talents may dwindle over a period of time.

As the world football communities look forward to winding the 2022/2023 calendar, one name many will remember for years is Victor Osimhen, the Napoli FC and Nigerian lethal striker, who has taken Serie A by storm, firing from all cylinders.

Osimhen has so far scored 18 goals in 19 matches of the Serie A League 2022/2023 campaign, five goals ahead of his closest competitors.

The Nigerian lanky striker who began his senior career in Germany at VfL Wolfsburg in 2017 has proven beyond doubt that he is a complete box-office player that is worth his onus.

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It is not gain saying that Manchester United football club needs a top-class number nine to help compete for the top spots in the league come 2023/2024 if they hope to restore the past glory at the theatre of dreams.

Osimhen, the Nigerian central forward is currently valued at 70 million euros, with a weekly wage of about £112,000. Compared to Anthony Martial who is valued between 24.7 million euros and 41.2 million euros.

Martial earns £250,000 per week playing for Manchester United with three league goals and one Europa League goal to show for it.

Napoli FC has raised the price tag of the Nigeria international to €120m after a host of interest from several European clubs including Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Newcastle United, among others.

This is quite understandable judging by Osimhen’s prolific goal-scoring rate.

Recently, Eric Ten Hag was quoted by Sky sport to have admitted that Anthony Martial, the current United number nine player is struggling to manage the workload required of him.

The Dutchman added that Martial is not in a position to play 90 minutes every few days after an injury-interrupted season. In view of the developments, many football followers believe that it will be ideal for the Red Devils gaffer to bring the goal machine to Old Trafford.

And should that be the case, Nigerian football pundits are confident that Osimhen will excel should he move to Old Trafford as a replacement for Anthony Martial in June.

Tony Ubani, sports editor of Vanguard Newspaper said he does not see the move possible yet, bearing in mind that there are a lot of things to be considered whenever a club wants to buy a player.

“If Osimhen goes to Man United, it is a good move for him. He will be a big success at Old Trafford,” he said.

Ubani did not rule out the fact that the Super Eagles striker will face some pressure in England to fit into the shoes of some legendary players who had played the same role before.

“There will always be pressure, and he might discover himself at Man United, or otherwise. There are two sides to every coin, so Osimhen can maximise the opportunity or otherwise,” Ubani noted.

Paul Erikewe, chief coach of Customs Football Club and the man who discovered Osimhen said that judging by the boy’s current form there is no club he cannot play for.

The main challenge for Osimhen according to Erikewe is his ability to adapt to the new club’s philosophy.

“Every coach has a philosophy, and it is the duty of players to adapt and adjust to it that matters. If he can adapt, then, he won’t have many problems at Man United,” he said.

For Shira Yusuf, a National Institute of Sports (NIS) certified football coach sees no reason why Osimhen will not excel at Man United.

“Why not, it will be a super replacement because he is young, experienced, and very hard-working with good goal-scoring records,” he said.

However, Onyebuchi Abia, a veteran sports journalist would want Osimhen to concentrate and build his career rather than jumping to the offer should it come.

“Victor is a very good point man and strong like Rasheed Yekini of blessed memories. He has what it takes to excel but must be careful at offers that come his way,” Abia said.

The coordinator of the Kanu Nwankwo Heart Foundation (KNHF) was quick to point out that the ability of Osimhen to succeed at Old Trafford does not depend on him alone.

“Players on the ground will determine how successful he becomes. It is a teamwork affair, and not just the individual player’s skills per se,” he noted.

For Philip Adefioye, a sports analyst with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Osimhen going to Man United is a good move, he will certainly excel because he is a hardworking footballer, a fighter, and a player with a hunger for success.

“Osimhen proved his worth at Lile FC in France before moving to Napoli where he is now a household name, moving to Old Trafford will be another opportunity for him to showcase his pedigree in the round leather game,” he said.

Tana Aiyejina, sports editor at The Punch Newspaper gives his support to the Edo State-born Nigerian striker moving to Old Trafford in the summer.

“Osimhen is the most in-form striker in Europe right now. He is the goal-toast that all big clubs would want to have in their team. He wants to come to Old Trafford even before now but for the fact he didn’t want to compete with Odion Ighalo, a man he respects a lot, he turned down the offer,” he said.

Morakinyo Abodunrin, sports analyst at the Nation Newspaper sees Osimhen as a good buy should the club be willing to meet the asking price from Napoli FC.

“He has shown that he can score goals, but can Man United afford the price that will cause him to part ways with his present club?, he asked.
Osimhen started his football career in Nigeria playing for the Ultimate Strikers Academy.

He has won the FIFA U17 World Cup 2015, FIFA U17 Golden boot 2015, and FIFA U17 Silver Ball 2015. In Africa, he won the CAF Youth Player of the year 2015, and AFCON 3rd Place 2019. In France, he won the Prix Marc-Vivien Foé 2020, and Lille player of the season 2019.