One of Super Eagles rising talents, Gift Orban, could be set to make the next big step of his budding career. The 20-year-old striker has attracted interest from all over Europe with some of the top sides on the continent looking to secure his services.
Clubs like Manchester United, RC Lens, Brighton and Hove Albion and Eintracht Frankfurt have been linked with the player in the media. However, the team that looks to be winning the race to sign the in-form forward is Ligue 1 side, LOSC Lille.
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◉ En attendant d'acter le départ de Jonathan David, Lille avance fort sur Gift Orban.
◉ Les Dogues veulent devancer la concurrence et un accord est proche d'être trouvé avec les représentants du joueur. pic.twitter.com/7YA2YVp0DZ
— Santi Aouna (@Santi_J_FM) July 15, 2023
The French Club are looking at Orban as a potential replacement for their current striker Jonathan David, who is expected to make a move to another club in this summer transfer window.
Although top clubs all over Europe are interested in the 23-year-old David, concrete bids have seemingly not come in for him. While they wait for movement on that end, Les Dogues (or the Mastiffs) are working to bring in Orban as his successor as soon as possible. They are in contact with Orban’s representatives and are close to reaching an agreement on personal terms.
Lille move puts Orban in great company
This football club is no stranger to having Nigerian talent play up front for them as current Napoli striker Victor Osimhen previously played for the French side.
It was at Lille that the striker caught the eye of Napoli in a debut season that saw him score 18 goals. The Italian side decided to break their transfer record to sign the player for €75 million.
Now, Osimhen has paid a hefty chunk of that transfer fee with lots of goals and a Serie A trophy to his name. Gift Orban would be hoping to follow that same career trajectory if the transfer to Lille is completed. He is certainly talented enough to do so.
Orban’s current contract at KAA Gent lasts until 2027 and the player has not ruled out staying at the club for another season in the Jupiler Pro League. Back in April, Gent managing director, Michel Louwagie already stated their intention of not selling the player.
“Gift is a luxury problem. He still has a contract until 2027, and we didn't get him at the end of January to sell again in July. We've never done that before,” he told De Morgen.
Orban's growing reputation
Orban burst onto the scene and put the eyes of European football firmly on him when he scored a 205 second hatrick in the UEFA Conference league match against Istanbul Bakshekshir. His goals on that night became the fastest hat trick recorded in European club competition.
To end the season, Orban scored 39 goals in 46 matches in all competitions. With numbers like that, it is not hard to see why he is so coveted by clubs all over the continent.
To the bafflement of many Super Eagles supporters, Orban is yet to earn a callup to the National team. A move to a club like Lille in a more reputable League will help his chances of making the AFCON 2023 squad.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago