Should Leicester snatch starlet from Chelsea and Liverpool?

Victor Osimhen, Lille (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Victor Osimhen, Lille (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images) /

After a scintillating first campaign for French side LOSC Lille, Victor Osimhen is on the radar of a lot of England’s top teams – including Leicester City.

The Nigerian international has scored 18 goals in all competitions since his £10.8m move from Belgian side, RSC Charleroi. When you combine his statistics with him only being 21, it’s easy to see why so many clubs such as Leicester City want his signature.

During the current coronavirus pandemic, there have been rumours of Chelsea and Liverpool being interested, as well as Tottenham Hotspur, who are apparently willing to pay £75m for Lille’s top scorer – £15m more than his market value. The Nigerian won’t be a cheap acquisition, but is he worth the money for the Foxes?

There can be a lot of parallels made between Osimhen’s offensive game and that of Leicester City striker and top scorer in the Premier League, Jamie Vardy. Both players offer blistering pace and a desire to make runs behind the opposition’s defensive line. They also boast similar finishing attributes and an instinctual nature in front of goal – quite the praise to be compared to a Foxes legend.

Signing a younger version of Jamie Vardy would be considered smart business from Brendan Rodgers, as he already sets his team up around the strikers’ play-style. As Vardy is ageing, he’s becoming increasingly injury-prone. The 33-year-old has picked up a couple of minor injuries this season and will require more rest between games. Having a direct replacement such as Osimhen would allow Vardy to slowly transition into more of a squad role.

Tactically, LOSC Lille tends to play in a 4-4-2, which allows Osimhen to have a strike partner – ordinarily, Luiz Araujo. Inside of Brendan Rodgers’ system, Osimhen would be playing as a sole striker in a 4-1-4-1. However, his linkup play wouldn’t be impacted. The midfield and defence composition remain similar to that of a 4-4-2 and he has the capabilities to play as the only forward.

A key factor to attracting the Nigerian, would be holding on to fellow countrymen, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho, as all three play together at an international level. Unfortunately, Ndidi has been linked with a move to French giants, Paris Saint Germain, and signing another striker, such as Osimhen, would move Iheanacho further down the pecking order.

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The signing of Osimhen would smash Leicester City’s pre-existing transfer record of £40m – after the club made Youri Tielemans’ loan deal permanent last summer. If the Foxes are able to sign him for his market value – £60m, then it would be a quality signing ahead of a UEFA Champions League campaign. But with the number of clubs willing to pay his value and some, he may not be worth it for the Foxes.