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Victor Osimhen named best Ligue 1 African player of the year

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Lille striker Victor Osimhen has been named winner of the 2020 Marc-Vivien Foe prize.

The Super Eagles forward saw off competition from compatriot Simon Moses (Nantes), Saint-Etienne’s Denis Bouanga, Montpellier’s Andy Delort, Monaco’s Islam Slimani plus Rennes’ trio of Mbaye Niang, Hamari Traore and Edouard Mendy.

“Nigerian forward Victor OSIMHEN won the Marc-Vivien Foé. The prize for the best African player in the French Ligue 1, the French football championship for the 2019-2020 season. Congratulations @victorosimhen9 !”, his club, Lille tweeted.

Osimhen joined Lille from Belgian First Division A club Sporting Charleroi as a direct replacement for Cote d’Ivoire star Nicolas Pepe who joined Premier League outfit, Arsenal.

He became an instant hit at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, delivering admirable performances that endeared him to the club’s fans.

With French football cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Super Eagles star ended up with 18 goals and six assists in 38 appearances across all competitions – a feat that earned him Lille’s player of the season accolade ahead of Benjamin Andre and Renato Sanchez.

Thanks to this achievement, he succeeds last year’s winner Pepe as well become the second Nigerian after Vincent Enyeama (2014) to claim the individual prize since inception in 2009.

Osimhen burst into the football scene at the 2015 U17 Fifa World in Chile, where he bagged the topscorer’s award, Silver Ball as well as helped Emmanuel Amuneke’s Golden Eaglets to the world title.

The same year, he was named as Africa’s Youth Player of the Year by the Confederation of African Football.

After a failed stint at Wolfsburg, he joined Charleroi on loan where he scored 20 goals in 36 outings across all competitions for the Zebras.

The Ultimate Strikers Academy product also caught the attention of senior national team selectors and earned his Eagles’ debut against Togo in 2017.

He played a part in Gernot Rohr’s team third-place finish at the 2019Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Although Osimhen is expected to remain at Lille until 2024, his French outfit has received several offers for the Nigerian with owner Gerard Lopez recently disclosing to that there are a number of suitors from three different leagues in Europe.

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