Osimhen: Napoli Stay Beneficial for Career Despite ‘Surreal’ Saudi Offer

Victor Osimhen, the Nigerian forward playing for SSC Napoli, recently disclosed that his choice to remain with the club during the summer was fueled by his ambition to advance his career, even though he received a tempting proposal from Saudi Arabia. Osimhen played a crucial part in Napoli’s victory in the 2022/23 season, netting 31 goals in various competitions and contributing to the team’s first Scudetto in 33 years. Such an outstanding performance caught the attention of clubs throughout Europe and the Middle East, including Al Hilal, who allegedly offered a staggering £174m for his talents. During an interview on John Obi Mikel’s podcast, ‘The Obi One’, Osimhen shared his experience regarding the enticing offer he received from Saudi Arabia. He expressed that despite repeatedly declining their offer, they continued to increase it. This situation posed a significant dilemma for him, and he ultimately entrusted the outcome to God. The whole situation felt incredibly surreal to him. Osimhen engaged in conversations with the relevant individuals and consulted with his club regarding this opportunity. The pursuing party persisted until the conclusion of their own transfer window. Osimhen emphasized that prior to the commencement of the season, he was determined not to allow this opportunity to define his life. However, he had to carefully consider the decision that would benefit his career, acknowledging that financial gain is an inherent aspect of professional football. Premier League clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester United were captivated by Osimhen’s remarkable displays, leading them to express their desire to secure the 24-year-old’s signature for the upcoming 2023/24 season. Osimhen’s exceptional goal-scoring abilities propelled him to the fifth position among Europe’s top scorers last season, solidifying his standing in the football world. While Napoli fiercely contended for the Serie A championship and made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Osimhen disclosed that a message from his “idol,” Didier Drogba, served as a source of inspiration for him. Osimhen expressed that he is continuously learning and avidly observing Drogba’s remarkable moments, along with those of other exceptional forwards. He recounted how Drogba reached out to him via Instagram last season. Initially, Osimhen couldn’t believe it and verified the authenticity of Drogba’s account before taking multiple screenshots. He replied to the message, which greatly inspired and encouraged him. Knowing that his idol is watching and supporting him provided immense motivation. Receiving motivation from someone he idolizes through a text message was an incredibly significant moment for Osimhen, as it felt like a twofold boost of encouragement. Osimhen’s outstanding displays and increasing renown are expected to capture the attention of numerous Premier League clubs, who will likely keep a close eye on his potential availability in upcoming transfer periods. The forward himself expressed his fondness for the top-tier English league, revealing, “Although I didn’t have a specific Premier League team I supported as a child, I possess two jerseys from my brother that I acquired during my grassroots football days. One bears the emblem of Chelsea, while the other proudly displays the Manchester United logo, adorned with the Vodafone sponsorship. Many of my friends were Chelsea fans, while a few supported Manchester United, but in Nigeria, the Premier League is universally followed.”

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