Former Nigeria midfielder Garba Lawal believes comparisons between Super Eagles legend Rashidi Yekini and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen are premature given the latter still has a long way to go in his career.
Osimhen has scored 15 goals in 22 Super Eagles appearances and there have been suggestions that he could break Yekini’s mark of 37, achieved in 62 games, to make him Nigeria’s all-time top scorer.
However, Lawal, who earned 67 caps while scoring six goals for Nigeria, feels the 23-year-old still needs up to five years at the top be considered into the conversation of the country’s best ever marksmen.
“No, he [Osimhen] reminds me of Daniel [Amokachi] because he has that kind of power. You know, he never gives up. That’s one of his qualities that I like,” said Lawal, when asked about comparisons between Osimhen and Yekini, as reported by Pulse Nigeria.
“For him, he is just starting. So, he has to play like four, five seasons for you to see whether he is the man or not, you know. So, he has a long, long way to go.
With Nigeria currently loaded with strikers playing in various leagues across Europe, Lawal believes Osimhen is the best among them.
“But for now, I believe he is the only striker that we have that can fight. I believe he wants to make names and he wants to win everything,” he said.
The former Lille forward has scored 28 goals in 62 matches since moving to Naples two years ago, although injuries have interrupted his spell in Italy.
He managed 18 in all competitions, 14 in Serie A, as Napoli finished third to qualify for the Uefa Champions League last season and he will be hoping for an injury-free 2022-23 so that his true potential can be seen.
Osimhen is sixth on the Nigeria all-time top scorers list, level on 15 with Odion Ighalo while Ahmed Musa and Obafemi Martins are one and and three goals ahead of him, respectively. Former Everton and Blackburn Rovers striker Yakubu Ayegbeni is second with 22.
The striker has been the subject of transfer speculation this summer, with reports linking him to Premier League sides Arsenal and Manchester United as well as Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich but he looks set to stay at Napoli since no formal bids have been submitted yet.