There have been a handful of big deals done already in this transfer window. Not many bigger moves will take place than Victor Osimhen’s move from Lille to Napoli.
BBC Sport report Napoli have paid £81.3 million to sign Osimhen, and it is a move which should bring about mixed feelings from Manchester United’s perspective.
Osimhen was the perfect striker for United’s attack. He is just 21, scored 18 goals for Lille last season, and can play across the front three.
He is capable of pressing opponents, and coming from Nigeria, he could have helped engage a big part of United’s overseas fanbase which have enjoyed supporting Odion Ighalo during his short stint at Old Trafford so far.
But at the price paid, £81.3 million, this deal was just far too steep for United to get involved, despite Football Italia reporting that Osimhen would have been open to a switch to Old Trafford.
Find the next Osimhen
United will need to add extra competition up front, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer telling The Times he intended to keep his forwards on their toes.
Osimhen would have been ideal, but not at £81.3 million. United may surpass this fee in pursuit of Jadon Sancho, and this means this type of money is just not being allocated to sign a centre-forward.
So United need to do what Lille did last summer, and find the next Victor Osimhen.
Lille paid only £12 million to sign Osimhen from Belgian side Charleroi, after a season in which he netted 20 goals.
If United had been smart enough to make this move last summer, it would have been a great investment.
Osimhen’s price tag helps push Lyon forward Moussa Dembele’s value up, and as a result, United likely will not get involved for him either.
Odsonne Edouard, who scored a hat-trick for Celtic last night, may be somewhere in between.
If the lesson from Lille’s smart Osimhen deal is that United need to take a low cost gamble on a player scoring highly in an unfashionable league, then that might be the smart approach.
Solskjaer’s argument is that United need depth, and competition. Anthony Martial has earned his right to be first choice, but it makes sense to push him, to keep performing.
This is where the scouting team should earn their money. Anybody can go and pick out Jadon Sancho as a top priority. United’s recruitment team need to do what Lille did, and odentify a young striker for under £20 million who could be worth four or five times that fee in 12 months time.
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