Goals kings: Osimhen, Lookman paint Serie A with goals


By Ebenezer Bajela.

Heading into the 2022/23 season in the Italian topflight, many had tipped Juventus’ Dušan Vlahović as the man to give Nigeria and Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, a run for his money, with both players expected to battle for the league’s top scorer award come end of the season, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

However, with this season midway, that has not been the case.

Instead, it is more of the Nigerian show in Italy with Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman the man competing with Osimhen for the Paolo Rossi Award.

The Super Eagles duo are the first players to hit the double figure in the Serie A this campaign. While Osimhen has scored 13 goals from 15 league games to lead the scorers chart in Serie A, his countryman has found the back of the net on 11 occasions despite playing as a winger, to remain in second place.

Both players have not shown any signs of slowing down and may go head-to-head until the head of the season for the goals scorer award.

In the numbers war, Osimhen and Lookman are not only competing to be the league’s top goals scorer. Both players are also tied on the same number in terms of assists (four).

The Nigerians are having a fantastic season with Napoli and Atalanta and their performances last weekend were a testament to that.

On the back of scoring a brace and providing another assist against Juventus on match-day 18, Osimhen, who can’t just stop scoring at the moment, having scored 11 goals in his last 10 league games, once again found the back of the net against Salernitana to give Luciano Spalletti’s side a two-goal cushion.

Following Osimhen’s impressive show on Saturday, Lookman went a step further the following day as he grabbed a brace and an assist to keep his compatriot in sight in the fight for the league’s top scorer award.

The winger’s performance against the Bianconeri saw him become the fourth Atalanta player to score 10 or more goals after 19 matches in his first Serie A campaign, before taking his tally to 11 with a composed header.

Jorgen Leschly Sorensen (1949-50), Karl Aage Hansen (1949-50) and Poul Rasmussen (1952-53) are the only others to achieve the feat as Lookman continues to prove his worth to Gian Piero Gasperini.

Apart from helping Atalanta go unbeaten in their last six Serie A matches against Juve (W2 D4), equalling their longest undefeated run against the Bianconeri in the topflight: six matches without losing between 1963 and 1966, Lookman is the first Atalanta player to score braces in three straight games in all competitions since the 2006-07 season.

While Osimhen currently leads the scorers’ charts, the battle between the Napoli forward and Lookman will go down the wire with the former Leicester winger expected to give him a run for his money going by his current form.

Talking about money, both Nigerians have also seen their market valuation rise following their impressive season.

Heading into the season, the former Lille’s striker had a valuation of €60m but a season that sees him currently top of the Serie A log with Napoli means the striker’s valuation now stands at €70m, €10m more than what he started the campaign with.

On his own part, Lookman is not left out of the list of players whose value has risen. The Atalanta star man is currently valued at €20m, a big figure for someone who began the season with a market value of just €9m.