Italian Serie A side Napoli have confirmed the signing of young Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen from French club Lille.
Napoli’s website gave very few details of the deal simply saying: “SSC Napoli are delighted to announce the signing of Victor Osimhen from Lille on a permanent transfer.”
According to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, the deal is worth more than $96m (81.3m euros) making him the most expensive African player of all time.
Napoli have now paid more than English side Arsenal paid Lille for Ivory Coast’s Nicolas Pepe a year ago.
Osimhen had joined Lille from Belgium’s Charleroi as a replacement for Pepe.
After scoring 18 goals in all competitions for Lille last season, the 21-year-old hade been linked for several weeks with Napoli.
In June he was named as Lille’s player of the season in what was his first campaign in France, and the Nigerian was also named in Ligue 1’s team of the season.
Osimhen burst into the spotlight at the 2015 Under-17 World Cup in Chile, as he clinched the Golden Boot and Silver Ball awards while steering the Golden Eaglets to the title.
The then-16-year-old scored a tournament-record 10 goals, netting in every one of Nigeria’s games, in a performance that helped earn him Africa’s Youth Player of the Year award for 2015.
His displays at that World Cup also earned him a move to Wolfsburg but Osimhen, who turned down Arsenal to play in Germany’s Bundesliga, admitted to struggling as he slowly adapted to both the league and European football.
After a barren season in which the striker, affected by injury, did not score in 16 games, he moved to Belgium where the goals soon flowed – 19 in his first campaign at Charleroi, where he was originally on loan before making the move permanent.