Arkadiusz Milik could well be one of the players departing from Napoli this summer. With details over his contract still stalling as it stands, it’s not far-fetched to think he’ll be on his way out of the club. It remains to be seen where he’ll be playing next season but should he leave, Lille’s Victor Osimhen lies in wait as a potential candidate to lead the forward line under Gennaro Gattuso next season.
The 21-year-old Nigerian international enjoyed a brilliant season with the French outfit, scoring 18 goals and assisting 6 in 38 appearances in all competitions. For his efforts, Osimhen was also named Lille’s player of the season in the recently concluded campaign.
For a player of his age and abilities, it’s only a matter of time before the crop of European elite starts knocking on Lille’s door for his services. The Nigerian international has already been linked to Premier League sides Liverpool and Chelsea but it is the Partenopei that look more than likely to land the 21-year-old.
Just recently, reports surfaced Osimhen had agreed on a deal to join Napoli, but the player came out to debunk it as “fake news.” Recent comments from his agent Osita Okolo, however, did not rule out the idea of a move to the San Paolo in the nearest future.
“I can say that, for now, Osimhen hasn’t agreed on anything with Napoli or another club. I can also deny that he dreams of going to the Premier League,” Okolo told Naples-based station, Radio Marte as h/t by Goal.
“I don’t know why [the press] says certain things. Naples is a fantastic city and Napoli are a very good team (…) I’m always honored whenever I hear these links, but for now, there’s no deal in place, even if negotiations with them are ongoing.”
From an economic point of view, now more than ever could be the right time for Napoli to make a concrete move for Osimhen.
Lille are reportedly asking for around €60M for the 21-year-old but the club narrowly missing out on Champions League places for next season has put them in a delicate financial situation. It coincides with recent statements from Lille boss Cristopher Galtier admitting the Nigerian could leave the club this summer.
Lille boss Christophe Galtier has confirmed that Osimhen and Gabriel will leave the club this summer:
“Regarding Victor and Gabriel, yes, I’ve known for a long time that they’re leaving but of course, the club is working to replace him.”
— Vince™ (@Blue_Footy) June 19, 2020
On the path of Napoli, Arkadiusz Milik would still go for a respectable amount in the transfer market and the proceeds from his sale could be used to tempt Lille to sell their prized asset.
At 185 cm, Osimhen is blessed with proper height and has explosive pace that would see him fit in Gattuso’s counter-attacking style of play. In addition to that, the Nigerian’s 4.4 aerial duels won per game (Whoscored) compared to Milik’s 1.7 per game (Whoscored) would also bring an extra advantage in his aerial prowess.
Just like Milik, Osimhen also boasts proper versatility and can be deployed in any position. It remains to be seen what happens with the Polish international but Napoli could already have his ideal replacement lined up.
As it stands, Milik is valued at around €40M via Transfermarkt and it’s not out of place to think that fee would be more than enough to snap up Osimhen from Lille. The Nigerian is five years younger, can only get better, and still has his best years ahead of him.