Lille sporting director Luis Campos said Victor Osimhen was on his radar for four years before his signing in the summer.
Osimhen heralded his arrival to the football world at the 2015 Fifa U-17 World Cup in Chile where he won the Golden Boot with 10 goals and two assists, and also the Silver Ball as Nigeria emerged champions.
Although he was unable to establish himself at Wolfsburg, the center-forward proved his readiness for the top-level challenge last season when he scored 20 goals across all competitions for Sporting Charleroi.
Osimhen’s goalscoring form at Lille this season has not been a surprise to Campos who likened him to “cat” whenever he has the ball.
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“I went to Lagos to see the U17 World Championships. After one match I wanted him. But his price was very expensive for a 17-year-old. I spoke to my CEO. I called him every night saying, ‘Please give me this player, he is amazing. In two years he will be one of the best in Europe’,” Campos told Sky Sports.
“In the end, the player went to Wolfsburg. I went to Wolfsburg just to see him play. Sometimes he only played for five minutes, sometimes only two. I was crazy about him. Then he had a virus and had five or six months not playing and went to Charleroi in Belgium. Two months later I signed him. So itʼs a nice story. I lost the player but then got him back.
“If all is normal at the end of the season there will be a big move for him because he’s like a cat. You know, if you have a cat and give it a ball! Heʼs unbelievable. In the last 20 meters, he attacks every ball. Every ball. Like a cat.”
Osimhen has been in imposing form since he arrived at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in July, scoring eight goals in 11 matches, including his maiden Uefa Champions League goal.
His fine form has earned him two consecutive Player of the Month awards at Lille. He has also been nominated for the Ligue 1 Player of the Month for September.