Emmanuel Amuneke reveals African club that rejected Osimhen

Emmanuel Amuneke coached Victor Osimhen at U17 level

Emmanuel Amuneke reveals African club that rejected Osimhen

Faruq Ibrahim 22:16 - 22.01.2024

Former U-17 manager Emmanuel Amuneke reveals the African club that passed on the opportunity to sign Osimhen.

Former Zamalek winger Emmanuel Amuneke has disclosed a missed opportunity by his old club to sign Nigerian football sensation Victor Osimhen back in 2015. 

Amuneke, a seasoned player who adorned the jerseys of Zamalek, Sporting Lisbon, and Barcelona, shared insights about this oversight in a candid interview with MBC Masr.

Amuneke's Role in Scouting Osimhen

Amuneke, who transitioned to a coaching role post-retirement, led the Nigerian U-17 team to glory at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015, held in Chile. It was during this tournament that young Osimhen made a significant impact, clinching the Golden Boot with ten goals and securing the Silver Ball as the tournament's second-best player.

Leveraging his position and experience, Amuneke recommended Osimhen to the board of Zamalek. Despite his efforts and Osimhen's evident talent, the club hesitated. 

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“I don’t want to delve into many details about the matter of offering Osimhen to Zamalek. Zamalek is always my club, and I will do the same whenever I see a good player. One of the problems we face in Africa is the lack of courage in giving opportunities to young players,” Amuneke expressed In an interview with MBC Masr

Osimhen's Rise to Stardom

This missed opportunity by Zamalek paved the way for Osimhen's European journey, beginning with VFL Wolfsburg under the tutelage of Mario Gomez. 

Reflecting on this, Amuneke added, “We always look for the ready player in Africa, although the young ones are the future stars. I suggested Osimhen’s name to people at Zamalek, and the answer was we are going to watch him, but nothing happened.”

Osimhen's career trajectory soared thereafter, with stints at Wolfsburg, Charleroi, LOSC Lille, and his current club, Napoli, where he has established himself as a formidable striker.

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