ABUJA, Nigeria, Aug 4 – Former Barcelona winger Emmanuel Amuneke has said the record-breaking transfer of Victor Osimhen from Lille to Napoli will inspire more top transfers to the benefit of Nigeria.
Osimhen, 21, has joined Napoli on a five-year contract with an option for another year in a deal worth up to 80 million euros (Sh10.2bn), making him the most expensive African player ever.
Amuneke selected Osimhen for the 2015 Under-17 FIFA World Cup in Chile where he finished record top scorer with 10 goals to attract interest from several top European clubs before he eventually signed for Bundesliga club Wolfsburg.
The former Barcelona winger says he believes the Super Eagles will compete more favourably when other players also step up to the big clubs in Europe.
“His transfer is good for Nigeria and I hope other players make it to the big stage, that will be how we can aspire to win something,” said Amuneke, the hero when Nigeria won a historic Olympic gold in 1996 and who scored twice in the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations final.
“For Nigeria to achieve anything meaningful, we need a strong team, which is not just about two or three players.
“We need top players in all departments as well as those on the bench. That way at any given time anyone can play.”
Amuneke said Osimhen represents a bright future for three-time African champions Nigeria, whose last major achievement was winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
“He is now the future of Nigeria at only 21, he has a great attitude,” he said.
“We already have a young team with the likes of Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Nwakali, Samuel Chukwueze and Orji Okwonkwo and Osimhen is very much part of this team.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was among several personalities who have congratulated Osimhen on his transfer to Napoli.