Saturday, March 11, 2023

Arsenal Leading The Transfer Tug-of-war For This Serie A Sensation: Why They Must Get The Deal Done

The football world is tipped to witness a transfer tug-of-war for an array of high-profile names in the summer window. Napoli ace Victor Osimhen is certainly one of them and according to Italian outlet Rai, as relayed by Tutto Napoli, Arsenal are favourites to secure his services despite the long-term interest from Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Paris St-Germain are also keeping close tabs on the attacker’s situation in Naples. Chelsea, who have been after every name under Todd Boehly’s ownership, are unsurprisingly chasing his signing to resolve their conundrum high up the pitch once and for all after years of instability.

The 24-year-old Nigerian was scouted and roped in by Wolfsburg from the Ultimate Strikers Academy. He left his hometown Lagos for European football, but it did not work out in Bundesliga which eventually saw him being loaned out to Charleroi in Belgium after failed trials with Zulte Waregem and Club Brugge. His impressive scoring form led to a permanent transfer for €3.50m, however, French side Lille secured his services a month later for a staggering €22.40m fee.

The Rise Of Osimhen

Osimhen became Lille’s top scorer of the 2019-20 season by netting 18 goals in 38 appearances across competitions and his emergence resulted in an enormous €70m (potentially rising to €80m with add-ons) club-record switch to Napoli back in the summer of 2020. The young ‘number 9’ has depicted his progress over the years and is currently leading the Serie A golden boot race with 19 goals in 21 league outings ahead of Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez (14 goals in 25 games).

Osimhen, alongside Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, has formed a formidable pairing in the attacking third and their emergence this season has made I Partenopei the runaway league leaders with a 15-point cushion over second-placed Inter. They are also going strong in Europe following a 2-0 win on the road against Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round-of-16 encounter. The Super Eagles international broke the deadlock late in the first half.

Why Arsenal Should Secure His Services

Although Premier League leaders Arsenal are keen on snapping him up, Napoli are in no rush to part ways with their prized asset, given his contract runs down in summer 2025. The North London heavyweights must pay at least £133m, a British record transfer fee, to initiate negotiations.

The Gunners, however, have been smart and shrewd in terms of tying down new faces and promoting the youth. But it’s high time to splash the cash to keep pace with Chelsea and the Manchester clubs irrespective of their resurgence under Mikel Arteta. While Gabriel Jesus offers his presence in the build-up play, Osimhen would bring a different kind of threat with more directness and poaching traits.

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