Nigeria and Lille striker, Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhen said the experiences he had at Wolfsburg and Sporting Charleroi, as well Christophe Gatlier’s warm reception, have helped him settled down well in Lille.

After helping Nigeria lift the 2015 Fifa U-17 World Cup in Chile, Osimhen sealed a move to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg where he played 14 top-flight games in two seasons.

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He struggled to establish himself in the German city and thus, secured a move to Belgium where he played the entire 2018-19 season and scored 12 goals in 25 league matches.

Subsequently, he was signed by Lille as Nicolas Pepe’s replacement, who had moved to Arsenal in the off-season.

With seven goals in nine Ligue 1 matches so far this season, Osimhen has apparently found his feet in France and he has revealed the factors behind his quick adaptation.

“The experience accumulated in Wolfsburg and Charleroi helped me adapt in Lille,” Osimhen told BeIN Sport.

“I watched the club last season, there are great players here, my priority is to get into the game as quickly as possible and prove to the fans what I can do, I want to continue like this.

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“The first time I arrived in Lille, he [Gatlier] spoke to me and told me that I will be important to the team, even before touching a single ball, he told me that he had seen many of my matches with Charleroi.

“For a young player like me, there is no better motivation. Since I got here, he has been wonderful to me. Even when I play a bad match, he speaks to me, explain to me my mistakes and try to make me progress during the training sessions.

“It is for me to return to the field what it brings me everyday and I want to continue to make him happy with my performances. He is one of the architects of my career and I will never forget that.”

Despite the early challenges he faced in his early years in Africa, the Super Eagles forward is delighted with his career progress.

“It was very difficult, when I lost my mother, it became even more so, my father lost his job and everything was very hard for us, we did not have enough to eat, but now I can give my family everything they want, since I’ve been a professional I’ve been able to quickly break the deadlock and give them the life they deserve,” he added.

On Saturday, Osimhen limped out of Lille’s 3-0 win over Bordeaux due to a muscle strain but the Great Danes will hope to have the 20-year-old back in good shape when they travel to Marseille for their next Ligue 1 fixture on November 2.


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