Super Eagles forward set to join Lyon

Nigerian forward Gift Orban is close to joining French side Olympique Lyon for €13million in a deal that runs through till June 2028, according to reports.

The Super Eagles forward who joined Belgian outfit KAA Gent in January 2023 scored 27 goals and provided two assists in 38 appearances last term, attracting a lot of potential suitors including Lyon.

Prior to his transfer to Gent, Orban played for Norwegian side Stabæk, where he scored 19 goals and contributed seven assists in 24 appearances.

Frankfurt and Fulham pursuits

After an impressive campaign, it was not surprising to see a lot of potential suitors eyeing the 21-year-old's signature.

German club Eintracht Frankfurt were in the race for Orban's signature, but were unable to match asking price. Premier League side Fulham were also reportedly planning a January swoop for Orban.

Photo by Icon Sport
Photo by Icon sport

Nominated for CAF Young Player of the Year

Gift Orban was nominated alongside other talented young African footballers for the 2023 CAF Young Player of the Year.

However, despite not winning the award, the former Stabæk player is recognised as one of the most promising young talents to emerge from Africa in recent years.

AFCON 2023 snub

Due to his outstanding performances for Gent, Orban was widely expected to secure a spot in Jose Peseiro's final AFCON 2023 squad after being initially named in the provisional squad. However, he was ultimately overlooked for selection.

Gift Orban: Super Eagles star or Togo's Sparrowhawk?

There were whispers about the omission, with some suggesting that Orban's indecisiveness about which national team to represent may have played a role, given that he is also eligible to play for Togo. He was born in Benue State, Nigeria, to a Nigerian father and a Togolese mother.

He was called up by Jose Peseiro for AFCON 2023 qualifier games against Sao Tome and Principe but was unable to play due to an injury sustained in a league game before the match held in Nigeria.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with and He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.