Lille new signing Jonathan David believes it will be difficult to replace ‘exceptional’ Napoli striker Victor Osimhen at the club.
The Canadian young striker joined the Stade Pierre-Mauroy outfit from Belgian First Division A side Gent this summer for a reported fee of €32 million as a direct replacement for the Nigeria international.
Osimhen made a significant impact during his one-year stay with the French side, having teamed up with the club from Sporting Charleroi.
The forward scored 18 goals and provided six assists in 38 appearances across all competitions which saw him win a number of individual accolades including the club’s Player of the Season award.
His performances became a talking point and generated interest from many European clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Napoli.
Osimhen eventually settled for the Serie A side in a club-record deal of €70 million which could rise to €80 million, to become the most expensive Nigerian player.
David, who scored 23 goals in 40 games last season, is, however, looking to make his own name with the Stade Pierre-Mauroy outfit.
“It will not be easy to succeed Victor Osimhen and his 13 goals last season in the league,” David was quoted as saying by Francebleu.
“We have a somewhat similar course. Victor came from Belgium when he joined Lille and this is also my case.
“He is an exceptional player. He proved it last season, but we are players with very different profiles. So everyone will have their own path.”
Osimhen started his European career with Wolfsburg, teaming up with the German side following his eye-catching performances at the 2015 U17 World Cup in Chile.
The 21-year-old striker helped Nigeria to win the title and won the Golden Boot and Silver Ball awards of the tournament.
Osimhen struggled to make much of an impact with the Bundesliga side but rediscovered his form after moving to Belgium to join Charleroi.
The forward is currently a key member of the Super Eagles and was part of Gernot Rohr’s side that finished third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Osimhen will hope to continue his sparkling performances, this time with his new club Napoli in the 2020-21 season.