Osimhen: Napoli club-record signing on how Wolfsburg didn’t believe in him
The Nigeria international moved to the German league at a very young age and his time in the Bundesliga has been a topic of discussion
New Napoli signing Victor Osimhen has opened up about his time at German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.
The forward signed for the Parthenopeans last month in a club-record fee of €70 million which could rise to €80 million with bonuses, to become Nigeria’s most expensive player.
The young striker, however, endured a testing time at his first European club Wolfsburg which he joined following his eye-catching performances at the 2015 U17 World Cup in Chile.
The 21-year-old forward starred at the tournament, winning the Golden Boot and Silver Ball awards after helping Nigeria clinch the title.
Osimhen made 12 league appearances for the club but didn’t score a goal. The forward feels Wolves did not give him the needed support but also revealed other challenges he encountered that limited his productivity.
“The weather, the language, the food [affected me]. It was my first time in Europe, I was just 18-years-old and I didn’t have enough time to acclimatize. They didn’t believe in me very much,” Osimhen told Sport1.
Wolfsburg managing director Jorg Schmadtke admitted the club was not patient with the Super Eagles striker.
“The most important lesson is that you have to be patient with some transfers. You can’t say: We’ll sign you up, provide board and lodging, and then it’ll work. The importance of patience is sometimes underestimated,” Schmadtke told Sportbuzzer.
In an effort to reignite his career, the striker moved to Belgium to team up with Sporting Charleroi on loan and was immediately a hit with the First Division A club.
Osimhen scored 20 goals in 36 games during his temporary stay and was rewarded with a permanent deal but his sparkling form caught the attention of Ligue 1 club Lille, who secured his signature a few months after the forward committed to the Zebras.
“I think that the love and acceptance that I experienced in Charleroi helped me a lot. I had just come out of a difficult situation and my self-confidence was at its lowest point,” Osimhen added.
Despite coming in to fill the vacuum created by the departure of one of Lille’s best players Nicola Pepe, the striker seemed not to feel the pressure as he immediately hit the ground running.
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The Nigeria international bagged 18 goals and provided six assists in 38 appearances across all competitions which earned him a move to Napoli.
Osimhen will hope to continue his impressive goalscoring performances in Europe, this time with the Parthenopeans in the 2020-21 season.
The forward remains a key component of the Super Eagles and has four goals in nine appearances for the West Africans since he made his debut against Togo in 2017.