No Nigerian Striker Like Osimhen Since Yekini – Oliseh


The 1994 African Cup of Nations winner managed the Super Eagles for about nine months nearly five years ago and has been impressed with the Lille star since back then

Former Nigeria international Sunday Oliseh has rated Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen above all other strikers that the three-time African champions have paraded since the legendary Rashidi Yekini retired from international duties 22 years ago.

The late Yekini is Nigeria’s all-time highest goalscorer with his 37 goals in 58 matches still to be bettered by anyone before or after him.

Several attackers have come after the former Sporting Gijon ace including the likes of Victor Ikpeba, Nwankwo Kanu, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Victor Agali, Obafemi Martins, and Emmanuel Emenike but none have been quite like Yekini.

Oliseh, though, thinks that Nigeria may have unearthed another Yekini in Osimhen with the former Juventus midfielder convinced that the youngster is blessed with outstanding qualities.

Speaking in an interview with RFI, Oliseh confessed that he had been monitoring the 21-year-old since his world cup-winning days with the Golden Eaglets and would have promoted him straight to the Super Eagles if he had stayed on as the team’s head coach.

“When I was coach, I was trying to assemble a new team,” said the former Fortuna Sittard coach.

“In fact, the basics of the current national team are made up of players that I have put together. For me, it was important to have young people from the future who were hungry for national team matches.

“Victor Osimhen was playing at the U17 World Cup at the time. I had watched his matches with my assistants, including the final won by Nigeria. He did it with such ease, the way he eliminated his opponents.

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“We planned to invite him to the national team. But I left the team. Otherwise, I would have invited him.

“Because, since Rashidi Yekini left the national team, we have not had a player of the caliber of Victor Osimhen.

“My plan was to integrate him slowly into the Super Eagles, to give him a few minutes, before launching him 100% as we did with Wilfred Ndidi or Alex Iwobi at the time.”

Osimhen, who has scored four goals in his last four appearances for the Super Eagles, has been one of Nigeria’s most celebrated stars in Europe with the Lille forward recently named as the Best African Player in Ligue 1 this season.

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