Monday, December 5, 2022

Liverpool Enter Discussions To Land This Ligue 1 Centre-Forward: What Will He Add To Klopp’s Team?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Le10Sport, Liverpool have entered discussions with LOSC Lille striker Victor Osimhen’s representatives ahead of a potential move in the summer. The same source has also claimed that the Reds could face stiff competition from Manchester United and Chelsea in pursuit of the Nigerian centre-forward during the summer transfer window.

Osimhen’s Incredible Season In The French Top-Flight

The Lagos-born attacker has enjoyed a brilliant campaign in the Ligue 1 after establishing himself as the focal point of Christophe Galtier’s attack. He has registered 18 goals and six assists in 38 matches for the French outfit this term in all competitions which goes to highlight his growing influence in the final third.

Osimhen has averaged 3.2 shots, 0.9 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per game in the French top tier and the UEFA Champions League this season (stats via whoscored). His numbers prove just how consistent he has been as the primary centre-forward at Stade Pierre Mauroy.

The 21-year-old has also represented Nigeria at various youth levels before going on to play for the Super Eagles at the senior level. He has earned eight international caps for his country, netting four goals in the process. The ex-Bundesliga striker will be expected to assume an integral role for Gernot Rohr’s team in next year’s African Cup of Nations after postponement of the competition because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Lille’s Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen (L) reacts during the French Cup round-of-16 football match between Epinal and Lille at the Stade de la Colombiere in Epinal, eastern France, on January 29, 2020. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The Nigerian International Add To Jurgen Klopp’s Side?

Osimhen is one of the quickest players in French football and can be a hard man to catch when he gets free in behind the opposition backline. He can use his quickness and agility to make some penetrative runs with the ball and has transformed himself into an unforgiving finisher in front of the opposition goal. The Super Eagles star packs a lot of power and precision with his shot attempts and is usually a potent threat in the air as he can use his upper body strength and leaping ability to win a lot of headers in the final third.

However, Osimhen can be guilty of giving away the ball cheaply as evidenced by his low pass success rate of 61.4% in the Ligue 1 this season (stats via whoscored). At 21, he is still young and could work on improving his ball-distribution to become one of the best strikers in world football someday. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for the Reds to orchestrate a move to bring the talented Lille goal-getter to Merseyside this summer.

Osimhen ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Klopp generally expects from his forwards. His blistering pace and remarkable power make him a worthy target for Liverpool to pursue before the start of the new campaign. The Nigerian whizkid will not only add a lot of pace and goals to Klopp’s frontline but also provide some healthy competition for the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi at Anfield. He will also offer Klopp the freedom to be more flexible with his team selections, formations and tactics in the upcoming campaign.

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