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How Arsenal missed signing Osimhen for free

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According to The Mirror, Arsenal missed out on a golden opportunity to sign prolific striker Victor Osimhen in 2016 and yet failed to get him for free in January 2017, when he left Nigeria to join Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg.

The 24-year-old Nigerian striker has been making headlines for his outstanding performances with Napoli since joining the Serie A side in 2020.

Osimhen made headlines in 2015 when he scored 10 goals to help Nigeria win the U-17 World Cup for a record fifth time. The young striker claimed the Golden Boot for his efforts, with Wolfsburg and Arsenal battling for his signature.

Wolfsburg won that battle in January 2016, as they agreed to a pre-contract deal with Osimhen. The move was finalised in January 2017. Arsenal were left to pay for not acting on time. Osimhen explained that he was actually invited to the Emirates by the English giants in February 2016.

“It’s true that a big team like Arsenal wanted me and I feel honoured to be invited over,” Osimhen told BBC Sport. “But personally I feel Wolfsburg is a ladder for me to reach my professional goals.

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“Yes Arsenal is a good team for young players but Wolfsburg is the best club for me. This is the best place for me to learn and develop because my heart is here with Wolfsburg… The club’s plan for my career is very encouraging and I believe with God on my side I can grow to become one of the best players in the world.”

Osimhen did not register a senior goal for Wolfsburg, but he’s flourished since leaving the German club, initially on loan, in the summer of 2018. The forward has scored goals for fun at Belgian side Charleroi, French outfit Lille and Champions League hopefuls Napoli.

Now Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are both expected to enter the transfer market this summer to sign a striker

Reports in Italy earlier this month suggested Premier League giants United were the favourites to sign the talent, but he won’t come cheap, as they might have to pay €150m to grab the in-form striker.

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