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Osimhen dedicates best Ligue 1 African player award to late father

The Nigeria international has reacted after scooping the individual accolade following his eye-catching performances in the French top-flight

Lille striker Victor Osimhen has dedicated his Marc Vivien Foe best Ligue 1 African player award for the 2019-20 season to his late father.

The 21-year-old was signed by the Stade Pierre-Mauroy outfit last summer from Belgian club Sporting Charleroi as a direct replacement for Nicolas Pepe, who moved to England to join Premier League side Arsenal.

The Super Eagles forward quickly warmed himself into the hearts of the Mastiffs fans with his impressive performances, scooping the league’s Player of the Month award barely three months after teaming up with Christophe Galtier’s men.

The young striker found the back of the net 13 times and provided five assists in 27 league games in the 2019-20 season, a campaign which was abruptly ended due to the outbreak of coronavirus in France and across the world.

His performances saw him win the best African player award in the division, becoming the second Nigerian to scoop the accolade after Nigeria legend Vincent Enyeama.

In winning the prize, the 21-year-old beats off stiff competitions from his compatriot and Nantes winger Moses Simon, Saint-Etienne’s Denis Bouanga, Montpellier’s Andy Delort, Monaco’s Islam Slimani, Rennes’ Mbaye Niang, Hamari Traore and Edouard Mendy.

Osimhen, who lost his father last month at the age of 80, has taken to social media to dedicate the award to him while also applauding other nominees.

“[I am] grateful to God almighty, I dedicate this amazing award to my late father. Thanks to those who voted for me and also a big shout out goes to Moses Simon and the rest of the nominees. Thank you once more,” Osimhen tweeted.

At the close of the 2019-20 season, the young striker bagged 18 goals and provided six assists across all competitions for Lille and was deservedly named the club’s Player of the Season.

However, his efforts were not enough to help the Mastiffs clinch a place in the Champions League next season after they finished fourth, which the forward felt disappointed about.

Osimhen announced himself to the world at the 2015 U17 World Cup in Chile, where he won the Golden Boot and Silver Ball awards to help Nigeria win the trophy.

On the back of these eye-catching displays, he was snapped up German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in 2017 but failed to enjoy game time with the side owing to his struggles with injuries and loss for form.

The forward, however, rediscovered himself after joining Belgian First Division side Charleroi in 2018 on loan before the deal was made permanent.

The Super Eagles marksman, who has been linked with a number of European clubs, will hope to continue his brilliant performances in the 2020-21 campaign.

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