Belgian Jupiler Pro League club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise have set a price tag of €10 million on their Nigerian striker, Victor Boniface.
The graduate of the Real Sapphire football academy, Lagos, Nigeria, moved to Europe in 2019. His first stop was Norwegian side FK Bodø/Glimt, where he spent three seasons impressing other European sides.
In the summer of 2022, ahead of the 2022/23 season, Boniface signed a four-year contract with Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. The move cost the Belgian side €2 million to complete and has since turned out to be one of the best bits of business they did this season.
He has scored seven goals in the league from 29 appearances, while providing six assists in the process. In the UEFA Europa League, the striker has six goals and two assists in nine games so far, with his latest coming in the first leg of their quarter final tie against German Bundesliga club Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Compared to the other high flying strikers of Nigerian descent playing in various European leagues, Boniface's goal return of 15 is 42 is poor. However, his ability on the ball and his threat make him an asset that teams want to add to their rank to bolster their squad.
This is why Royale Union Saint-Gilloise signed him, according to the club's honorary president Jürgen Baatzsch.
“We take players because they have good stats. For example Victor Boniface. He came last summer for a fee of two million euros,” Baatzsch said to German daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau.
The former Bodø/Glimt man looks likely to leave the club in the summer as his performances continue to catch the eye of interested clubs. Baatzsch then stated that any clubs who are interested in their ace will have to come with a deal of around €10 million to the negotiating table.
“He is now worth 10 to 15 million. It's great when you see our success,” he added.
Boniface is currently the leading goalscorer in the Europa League. His six goals are tied with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford for the top scorer award, which means that he will be counting on Spanish side Sevilla to knock out the Premier League side if he will have a chance of standing alone at the top by the end of the campaign.
Alongside Gift Orban of KAA Gent, Boniface is the best player in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League at the moment. However, Boniface has been rated higher by former Belgian international Marc Degryse, who believes that the Union Saint-Gilloise man is a more complete footballer.
Degryse likened the former Bodø/Glimt man to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry after his performance against Leverkusen in the Europa League. “He has been here since the summer and is one step further than Orban,” Degryse told Het Laatste Nieuws, via Voetbal Nieuws.
“He is simply unstoppable. Against Union Berlin he played with such confidence – a bit like Thierry Henry even back then.
“Boniface, that's like Undav, but much better. He's a player who won't play here next summer. And he is also ready for the next step. Just a little more than Orban.”
Degryse's comments echo the sentiments of Union Saint-Gilloise defender, Siebe Van der Heyden, who spoke to Nigerian media outlet Soccernet.ng before the game against Leverkusen. “This guy is (22 years old) and the quality that he brings to the team is crazy,” Van der Heyden told the reporters.
“He can come into the ball, he can keep the ball very well with his body and also can play in the depth. He has this dribble that leads to assists, he is a quality player.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago