It is hard to know whether to feel hopeful for a young Super Eagles player or fear what expectations will do to him. Victor Osimhen certainly brings freshness to the squad. There is something about a youngster whose first memories of a major senior tournament was at the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
Osimhen could not have been in any doubt about expectations after his €70m move from Lille in 2020. His worth also reflected scarcity value. Nigeria teenagers of such promise are rare.
Aside from wear and tear, there are demands that apply other forms of strain in a country where it has ceased to be normal for Nigeria youngsters of potential to emerge in substantial numbers.
There is risk of overreaction when someone such as Osimhen does appear. He had a poor game against Liberia by his usual high standards.
The 22-year-old replied critics with a good strike in win over Cape Verde Islands at the World Cup Qualifier.
An emerging talent is not to be derided but it seems that Osimhen is being given prominence when a reduction in the attention paid to him may better suit his long-term interests.
It is at least reassuring that he appears to cope without fuss. His calmness will be tested by Central African Republic.
That vigilance will be essential to a player who thinks of himself primarily as a centre forward. He will know the benefit of working at Napoli with Lorenzo Insigne and co. Rohr need to see Osimhen sustaining his improvement.
Victor Osimhen, like many players, has had setbacks to overcome. At Wolfsburg he was a periphery. The club can hardly be faulted for failing to spot the potential in him. The noteworthy aspect is that this did not deter him.
He revived himself at Sporting Charleroi before consolidating in the French Ligue 1.
The goal poacher should understand that there will be insecurities. Playing for Napoli and Super Eagles will bring pressure every time, every single game he plays, whether it is a friendly or whatever.
A lot will be expected from the former Nigeria youth international by both club and country.
Life will surely bring him trials but for now his coaches have cause to appreciate a talent with talent, hope and resolve.
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