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HomeSportsOsimhen Chose What's 'Good For Career' Over Saudi Move

Osimhen Chose What’s ‘Good For Career’ Over Saudi Move

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen says he made the decision which was “good for his career” after being linked with a move to Saudi Arabia in the summer.

Reports suggested the 24-year-old – valued by Napoli at £173m – would join Al-Hilal, who had already signed Wolves captain Ruben Neves and Neymar.

The Nigeria forward scored 31 goals in all competitions last season to help Napoli win the Serie A title.

“The more I said no to them, the more they increased it,” Osimhen said.

“That week was a huge decision for me to make but I put everything in God’s hands.

“It was literally like ‘wow, this is surreal’. I spoke with the people in charge and spoke about it with the club.”

Speaking on The Obi One Podcast, he added: “They never gave up until the end of their own transfer window. I said before I played the first game of the season I really don’t want to go back thinking that it was going to change my life.

“But I had to make the decision what is good for my career, as much as we play football for the money.”

‘Idol’ Drogba provides extra motivation

Osimhen finished last season as fifth-highest scorer in Europe, which also attracted interest from Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea.

The striker fired Napoli to a first league title since Diego Maradona’s side in 1990, with the Italian club also reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.

He described former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba as one of his football idols, reflecting on a message he sent him last season that helped provide “double motivation”.

“I am still learning and watching a lot of Drogba’s highlights as well as some other amazing strikers,” the 24-year-old said.

“Last season he texted me on Instagram. When it is someone you like and idolise so much, and when you see Didier Drogba with the verified page – at first I went on to his page to see if it was the real one.

“I took a screenshot of it a few times and then replied. The message was really inspiring and encouraging to me.

“That he is watching and rooting for me, I got motivation. Then getting your idol texting you motivation, that is a huge one for me also. It is like double motivation.”

Osimhen denied there was any substance in the links to Chelsea and Manchester United over the summer, but said that growing up he admired the Premier League because of the “exciting” and “high-intensity” football.

He added: “I don’t have a boyhood Premier League team but I have two jerseys from my brother because I played grassroots football.

“I had one with Chelsea and one with Manchester United – the one with Vodafone on it.

“A lot of my friends were Chelsea fans and a few Manchester United, but in Nigeria everyone watches Premier League.”

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