Victor Osimhen reveals he rejected Arsenal for Wolfsburg

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Nigeria
Nigeria's Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen starred at the Under-17 World Cup for Nigeria, scoring 10 goals

Young Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen has revealed he chose German side Wolfsburg over the chance to compete in the Premier League with Arsenal.

Osimhen starred at the under-17 World Cup in October 2015, scoring 10 goals to help Nigeria win a record fifth title.

The striker, who turns 18 in December, was reportedly wanted by Arsenal, Tottenham and Anderlecht but his family and representatives settled for the German outfit.

"It's true that a big team like Arsenal wanted me and I feel honoured to be invited over. But personally I feel Wolfsburg is a ladder for me to reach my professional goals," Osimhen told BBC Sport.

"Yes Arsenal is a good team for young players but Wolfsburg is the best club for me.

"This the best place for me to learn and develop because my heart is here with Wolfsburg.

"The club's plan for my career is very encouraging and I believe with God on my side I can grow to become one of the best players in the world," he added.

Under Fifa regulations Osimhen cannot sign a professional contract until he turns 18, on 29 December 2016. But Wolfsburg have announced a deal to sign the striker on 1 January 2017.

The proposed transfer follows a co-operation agreement between Wolfsburg and Lagos-based Ultimate Strikers Academy, where Osimhen is based.

Under the co-operation agreement between the clubs, Osimhen has visited Wolfsburg and will continue to train with the club as their guest.

The gangly striker, who idolises former Ivory Coast and Chelsea forward Didier Drogba, said: "I have my father [Patrick Osimhen] and brother [Andrew] with me here in Germany to guide me in the right path.

"The academy has also benefited and I am happy that the partnership will also encourage other young players from our academy to work harder.

"This is a big step for my football, family and the academy. All I can do now is to continue to work hard as a footballer."

His 10 goals in Chile, where he also emerged as the Golden Boot and Silver Ball winner, eclipsed the previous best of nine set by Ivorian Souleymane Coulibaly in 2011 and Florent Sinama Pongolle of France in 2001.

Osimhen was also part of the Nigeria side that won the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal in November, which also qualified them for the Rio Olympics next year.

He was named the 2015 Confederation of African Football (Caf) Youth Player of the Year at the award ceremony in Abuja on 7 January.