Victor Osimhen’s longest goal droughts: Nigeria striker’s struggles explored

Victor Osimhen’s longest goal droughts: Nigeria striker’s struggles explored
Credit: Icon Sport

Victor Osimhen has worked his way into Nigerian, Italian and European folklore. The Nigerian striker has scored many goals but has also been through several periods without scoring.

Osimhen is gradually inching towards becoming the all-time top scorer for the Super Eagles after becoming the first African to win the Capocannonirie Award.

The former OSC Lille striker scored 26 goals for SSC Napoli to lift the award and is eyeing Rashidi Yekini's 37 goals for the Super Eagles.

Osimhen has 20 goals for the Nigeria national team after topping the scorer's chart in the AFCON qualifiers with 10 goals.

Wherever Osimhen goes, goals follow, but they have not always come regularly.

Injuries have also played a massive role in the regularity in which the former Charleroi forward has scored.

With Osimhen going through a goal drought at SSC Napoli, the forward has shrugged off the malaise.

Osimhen has had several goal droughts, but which is the lengthiest?

In this piece, we have excluded his national team appearances and pre-season friendlies.

The injury history of Victor Osimhen

Osimhen with his hands on his head during a Napoli match
Credit: Icon Sport

Injuries have contributed to the goal droughts by Victor Osimhen. As we look at the periods he has been away from scoring, we will also include his injury history.

It has not been a smooth sailing career for Victor Osimhen, as he has suffered several injuries.

The most popular of his injuries is the cheekbone fracture on November 21 2021, which kept him on the sidelines for 54 days.

The longest Victor Osimhen has been on the sidelines is 178 days. The injury happened before he joined VFL Wolfsburg.

Season Injury From Until Days Games missed
23/24 Muscle Fatigue Aug 2, 2023 Aug 7, 2023 5 days 0
22/23 Tear in the abductor muscle Mar 28, 2023 Apr 15, 2023 18 days 4
22/23 Biceps femoris muscle injury Sep 8, 2022 Oct 10, 2022 32 days 7
21/22 Muscular problems Apr 6, 2022 Apr 8, 2022 2 days 0
21/22 Corona virus Dec 30, 2021 Jan 10, 2022 11 days 2
21/22 Cheekbone Fracture Nov 21, 2021 Jan 14, 2022 54 days 13
21/22 Calf Strain Oct 29, 2021 Nov 5, 2021 7 days 2
20/21 Head Injury Feb 22, 2021 Mar 5, 2021 11 days 3
20/21 Corona virus Jan 1, 2021 Jan 22, 2021 21 days 6
20/21 Shoulder Injury Nov 14, 2020 Jan 15, 2021 62 days 15
17/18 Shoulder Injury Apr 27, 2018 Jul 15, 2018 79 days 11
17/18 Shoulder Injury Apr 26, 2018 May 31, 2018 35 days 6
17/18 Calf Problems Feb 26, 2018 Mar 12, 2018 14 days 2
16/17 Meniscal Injury Nov 7, 2016 May 4, 2017 178 days

Osimhen's goal drought

Osimhen plays a forward pass for SSC Napoli
Credit: Icon Sport

Perhaps Osimhen's longest goal drought would be during his stint at Wolfsburg.

The Nigerian forward had a stinker at the German club, as injuries kept him on the sidelines for long periods.

The Olusosun-bred striker would want to forget his stay at Wolfsburg, as he made only 14 appearances at the club without scoring any goals.

A brief stint at Charleroi

Osimhen joined Belgian side Charleroi after trials at Zulte Waregem and Club Brugge yielded no dividends.

He rediscovered his scoring boots at the Belgian side.

Victor Osimhen made his Chaleroi debut, coming on as a 78th-minute substitute for Jérémy Perbet in a 3-1 win over Royal Excel Mouscron on September 1, 2018.

He scored his first goal on his full debut for Charleroi in a 1-1 draw against Waasland Beveren on September 22, 2018.

While at Charleroi, Osimhen scored 12 goals from 25 games in all competitions.

At Charleroi, the longest Osimhen ever went without scoring was three games and it happened on four occasions.

At OSC Lille, the longest he has been without scoring is four games. It happened only once and was between October and November 2019.

After scoring in a 2-2 draw at home to Nîmes on October 5, 2019, Osimhen had to wait till November 5, 2019 to score again.

The goal came in a 4-1 UEFA Champions League loss to Valencia.

28 game goal drought at Napoli

Victor Osimhen tries to control the ball for Napoli
Credit: Icon Sport

The first season at Napoli was a torrid one for Osimhen.

The former Charleroi striker struggled with several injuries and contributed very little to the cause for Napoli.

He scored ten goals in all competitions for the Partenopei, but that season, he suffered a lengthy goal drought.

Osimhen had a 28-game goal drought that started on November 8, 2020, after he scored in the 1-0 Serie A win over Bologna and ended on March 7, 2021, when he returned to scoring in a 3-1 home win over Bologna.

Osimhen more consistent in 2021/22 and 2022/23 season

Osimhen points to the crowd for SSC Napoli
Credit: Icon Sport

In his second season for Napoli, Osimhen was the club's top scorer as he finished the season with 14 league goals and four from other competitions.

In his opening game of the season, he received a red card and went on a two-game goal drought.

He returned to scoring ways in the Europa League when he scored a brace against Leicester City on September 16, 2021.

Between October and December 2021, Osimhen suffered several injuries, including the famed cheekbone fracture, which happened in a 3-2 loss to Inter Milan on November 21.

The injury saw him go on a 19-game no-scoring period. He returned to scoring ways on February 6, 2022, in a 2-0 away win to Venezia.

In the 2022/23 season, Osimhen's longest period without a goal is ten games.

With the 2023/24 season still in its infancy, there is nothing for Osimhen to be worried about.

The Nigeria forward has not scored in only three matches. Considering that he has done longer periods without scoring, there is no cause for alarm.

This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).