The Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, who has seen a fantastic start to the 2021/2022 season with Serie A side Napoli, has admitted to looking up to Didier Drogba of Chelsea and the Ivory Coast while growing up.
“I took Drogba as my role model while I was growing up, and that has been the guiding light, ” Osimhen said at a recent interview.
During his magnificent playing career, Drogba was one of the best striking exports from the continent, and Osimhen said that seeing the ex-Galatasaray star do the exploits for which the Ivorian became renowned shaped him into the player he is now.
Following his £24 million purchase from Olympique Marseille in 2004, Drogba was Africa’s most expensive player and Chelsea’s record acquisition, just like Osimhen. In his first two seasons, though, he struggled and was even booed by Chelsea supporters.
However, in the seasons that followed, the former Ivory Coast international turned things around and went on to win four English Premier League crowns, four FA Cup titles, three League Cups trophies, and he was crucial to Chelsea’s first-ever UEFA Champions League victory.
The Ivorian remains arguably one of the best strikers in the world in a professional career that was most productive at the EPL side, where he scored more goals than any other foreign player and is currently the club’s fourth highest goal scorer of all time with 164 goals. Drogba was also named African Footballer of the Year twice, in 2006 and 2009 respectively.
Despite the fact that Osimhen still has a long way to go to match Drogba’s exploits, the Nigerian international’s journey is similar to Drogba’s in varied aspects.
After a club and African record transfer from Lille last year, Osimhen is currently seeing a good turn of form at Napoli. Although he had a lacklustre first season, scoring only ten goals, he has, much like his idol, had a turnaround with his fantastic start to the new season, scoring seven goals in his first five games.
Osimhen has now revealed that witnessing Drogba blaze the trail in the Blues of Chelsea as a youth influenced his own football, which is why he is where he is at the moment.
Osimhen added: “I think watching him a lot and the kind of mentality he has in terms of football has really helped me a lot to get to where I am today.”
Meanwhile, as newsmen reported, the national team coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, holds the belief that the ex-Lille star can become Africa’s new Drogba.
Rohr said: “I think Osimhen has what it takes to become a great striker, one of the best ever. But he still has to grow. He can become the new Drogba. I have no doubts about this. Victor has many qualities that recall those of the Ivorian legend.”