Manchester United have been crying out for a complete striker since they last won the Premier League, and Victor Osimhen could be the man to fill that void.
It would perhaps be slightly hyperbolic to say Robin van Persie single-handedly won United the 2012-13 league title, but it’s fair to say they wouldn’t have won it without him. Come on, just look at the squad they had.
The Dutchman was lethal in front of goal, scoring 26 times with some of his strikes being absolute stunners. His powers wained after that and the club have yet to find a worthy replacement, but they could finally change that if they can get their hands on Napoli’s star striker.
What really set Van Persie apart from those that tried to fill his boots at Old Trafford was that he could not only be relied upon to bury pretty much every half-decent chance that fell his way but was able to turn the smallest of them into goals too, such as *that* volley against Aston Villa.
No Man Utd striker since has been able to consistently do both of the above, but Osimhen is proving time and time again this season that he can.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man 💥
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 15, 2023
The Nigerian’s poaching abilities were on full display in the Champions League Round of 16 second-leg with Eintracht Frankfurt, with the forward getting two of his side’s goals from close range.
On both occasions, he had the intelligence to get in the perfect position for the cross and the quality to stick the ball in the back of the net when it came to him.
When it comes to the crucial art of getting into the right place at the right time and then doing the right thing, the 24-year-old is one of the best around.
Those goals and many more of his 23 this season have made it abundantly clear that he can do simple, but don’t think that means that he can’t do the spectacular.
Last month, Sassuolo didn’t seem to be in much danger when he picked up the ball on the right-hand side of the penalty area against them, with the presence of two defenders preventing him from cutting inside.
In that position, most players would lay off the ball to their team-mate out wide or hit against their opponents to win a corner, but Osimhen isn’t like most players.
Instead, he generated an obscene amount of power with a swing of his leg and smashed it past poor, helpless Andrea Consigil from the tightest of angles, with the goalkeeper barely seeing it, let alone saving it, before it flew into the back of his net.
Victor Osimhen’s goal against Sassuolo yesterday was definitely one of his best and it encapsulates all of his qualitiespic.twitter.com/vCdkPwsbeB
— Get Italian Football News (@_GIFN) February 18, 2023
That wasn’t the first time that he created something out of absolutely nothing, and won’t be the last.
It’s no coincidence that the last time the Red Devils had someone up top capable of doing so on a regular basis was also the last time they won the title.
Such an ability is one that Van Persie possessed – he even scored a similar goal for Arsenal against Barcelona – and one that the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst haven’t.
The latter has proved a valuable addition to Erik ten Hag’s side this season with his work rate and link-up play, but a major goal threat other than Marcus Rashford will be needed if they want to compete for the biggest prizes again – someone who can be relied on for tap-ins, wondergoals and everything in between.
In this regard, there are precious few better options than Victor Osimhen.