Super Eagles forward, Victor Osimhen has opened up on how he turned down a move to English Premier League giants, Arsenal five years ago after a ‘clear the air talk’ with the legendary Gunners manager Arsene Wenger.
Osimhen is enjoying a brilliant debut campaign at the Ligue 1 outfit, Lille Metropole having scored 18 goals in 38 games in all competitions so far before the season was halted indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 21-year-old first foray to Europe was in January 2016 when he joined German Bundesliga outfit, Wolfsburg off the back of an impressive Under 17 World Cup.
Osimhen was the top scorer as Nigeria clinched a fifth Under-17 World Cup title in 2015 with 10 goals in Chile, which saw him win the Golden Boot and Silver Ball – the latter awarded to the second-best player of the tournament.
His brilliant displays there attracted a host of clubs, including Arsenal but Osimhen says he felt a move to Germany was better for his
development despite the attempts of Wenger.
‘I spoke with Arsene Wenger after the tournament ended and he wanted me to come to Arsenal,’ he told the Independent.
‘I had a lot of options. Barcelona, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and the rest.’
‘Arsenal was a good option but it wasn’t the best at the time. I wanted to start playing as soon as I turned 18.
‘I wanted to go to a place where I had time to invest in my game and improve physically and Wolfsburg showed me that possibility.’
Despite rejecting Arsenal’s advances three years ago, Osimhen still harbours an ambition to play in the Premier League.
The Super Eagles forward revealed that he speaks to international team-mate, and on-loan Manchester United striker, Odion Ighalo about
life in England’s top-flight too.
‘Of course, one day I’d like to play for a big club in England,’ he enthused.
‘I’ve spoken to Odion [Ighalo] about it. He gave me very good advice, he’s a legend and a big brother. My goal is to play at one of the
biggest clubs in the world but now I’m very happy in Lille.
‘My priority is to play a lot of games.
Signing for a big club and being on the bench is not exciting for me.’