The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released the 30-man shortlist for this year’s player of the year award, but Victor Osimhen didn’t make the list.
No one saw it coming, I mean, how would you explain an 18-goal striker missing out when strikers with lesser output and impacts were included in the list.
The Napoli star assisted two and scored four goals against Sao Tome in the last AFCON 2023 qualifying match, while he was involved in 24 goals (18 goals and 6 assists) in all competitions for his club during the year in review.
Diving a little bit from Osimhen, it remains a mystery how Nigeria’s midfielder Joe Aribo couldn’t make the list despite featuring in three of the four matches played by his country at the Mundial.
Having featured regularly for the Super Eagles, and winning a major trophy for Glasgow Rangers, everyone expected the lively midfielder’s name on the list.
As for Osimhen, most people pointed to his absence during the AFCON 2021 tournament as the main reason for his snub.
The 23-year-old striker couldn’t showcase his skills and talents at the tournament due to injury.
He couldn’t overcome the nasty head injury he suffered against Inter Milan in November 2021. Hence, the then-manager Austin Eguavoen ignored him in his final AFCON list.
His controversial absence undoubtedly influenced the organizer’s decision to leave him out of contention for the award.
Osimhen’s Move To Arsenal Suffers A Huge Setback
The 23-year-old striker has been Arsenal’s long-time target since his exploits at the under-17 World Cup in 2017, and reports were linking him to the Emirates Stadium.
Unfortunately, the proposed move to the Gunners suffered a huge setback while Mikel Arteta’s side confirmed Gabriel Jesus’ signature this week.
The 25-year-old Brazilian forward sealed a £45million move to the Gunners from Manchester City, thereby becoming one of the club’s most coveted center-forwards at the moment.
As it stands, the Nigerian forward might remain at the Diego Maradona Stadium for the 2022/2023 season.
Chelsea and Manchester United’s Interest
Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly looking at the chances of luring the striker to Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford this summer.
Having released Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan, the Blues are in the market for a capable replacement.
Though Thomas Tuchel’s employers haven’t made an official bid, reports emanating from the West London club suggest the manager fancies a chance of working with the prolific striker.
As for Manchester United, the Red Devils have reportedly met with Napoli to discuss the player’s availability but it remains unknown if they will meet Napoli’s asking price.
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