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‘Osimhen is the best striker in Italy right now’ – Belgium striker, Lukaku, lauds Nigerian international

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Ahead of the January 4 top of the table clash between Serie A leaders, Napoli and bitter rivals, Inter Milan, Belgium striker, Romelu Lukaku has lauded Nigerian forward, Victor Osimhen, calling him the best striker in Italy.

Lukaku whose parents are from the Democratic Republic of Congo will come face to face with Osimhen when fifth placed Inter trade tackles with Napoli on Wednesday and has identified the Nigerian as the best striker following his great form for the Serie A table toppers.

The former Chelsea striker said he has been greatly impressed with Osimhen’s performances this season and also identified the Nigeria international as the “top striker” in the Italian top flight.

While speaking with Sky Sports on Monday, Lukaku admitted that the Nigerian forward is the best in the league so far.

“Osimhen is really strong. Now he’s the best striker. We have to be honest. He’s strong and he’s doing really well for Napoli. They are first in the standings. We have respect, but not fear.

“Luciano Spalletti (Napoli’s coach) has done a great job, we have to say. They (Napoli) have really strong players. I’ve been out and seen many of their games. Napoli are in a good moment. Osimhen scores many goals, Piotr Zielinski is well, Kvara Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, on the left, Hirving Lozano or Matteo Politano on the right,” he said.

Osimhen who is the leading scorer in the Serie A with nine goals from 11 matches, has seen him dust the like of Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Rafael Leao, Ciro Immobile, Paulo Dybala and other proven strikers in the league.

The Belgium international is not the first to shower praises on Osimhen following his goal scoring prowess this season which has seen him find the back of the net 14 times in all competitions.

Former Italian captain and top scorer, Francesco had also expressed such sentiments when he described Osimhen as “the strongest striker in Serie A” while a other Italian great, Filipo Inzaghi said Osimhen is “the best right now beyond Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema and France forward, Olivier Giroud.”

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Agent of Ghanaian international, Christian Atsu, debunks rescue from Turkey earthquake

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The agent of Ghanaian Black Star international, Chrstism Atsu, has debunked reports the player who was trapped under the rubble of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday, has been rescued.

Atsu, who plies his trade with Hatayspor of Turkey was one of several people affected by the quake, was reported to have been rescued alive on Tuesday but the agent, Nana Sechere, in a statement on Wednesday, said the he and the player’s family have been unable to confirm whether he was rescued nor his whereabouts.

A number of conflicting reports had surfaced following the initial news regarding Atsu, with a spokesperson for Hatayspor claiming he had been taken to hospital injured.

Sechere who released the statement on Twitter, however said so far, the reports are not true.

“Following yesterday’s update from the club that Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts,” Sechere wrote.

“As you can imagine, this continues to be a devastating time for his family and we are doing everything we can to locate Christian.”

“Official updates will be provided as more information comes to light. Please respect the families privacy during this harrowing time, and refrain from spreading unsubstantiated news as this will only hamper the search efforts for Christian Atsu.

“Thank you for all your prayers and support,” he posted in another tweet.

The confusion over Atsu’s situation was also accentuated by an update by Hatayspor manager, Volkan Demirel, who told reporters that Atsu and the club’s director Taner Savut, were still missing.

“There is no news from Atsu and Taner Savut yet. Would I share this if they were in the hospital? As soon as the news comes, I will share it.”

Hatayspor club doctor Gurbey Kahveci also said:

“We went to the hospitals, but he was not there. Unfortunately, we accept that Taner and Cristian Atsu have not been found at the moment.”

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Ghanaian footballer, Christian Atsu, rescued alive from Turkey earthquake rubble

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Ghana international footballer, Christian Atsu, who was reported to be one of those buried under the rubble following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey on Monday, has been rescued alive, according to officials of his club,
Hatayspor, on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old former Chelsea and Newcastle winger was reported missing in Turkey’s Hatay province following the quake and its aftershocks that brought down thousands of buildings, killing around 5,000 people in several Turkish and Syrian cities.

But in a statement on Tuesday, the club said the Black Star player has been found alive after being buried under rubble, but with injuries and have been evacuated to a hospital.

“Christian Atsu was pulled out injured. Our sporting director, Taner Savut, is unfortunately still under the rubble,” club vice president Mustafa Ozak told the media on Tuesday.

Atsu, who joined Chelsea from Porto as a teenager, has played in the English Premier League for both Newcastle United and Everton, on loan from Chelsea, before joining Hatayspor last September.

He played a League match for Hatayspor on Sunday before the early morning earthquake which across southeast Turkey and northern Syria.

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