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Africans Abroad: Victor Osimhen makes a stand, Ademola Lookman returns in style

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ESPN FC's Steve Nicol shares his thoughts on Virgil van Dijk's injury and long-term absence from Liverpool. (1:12)

Ademola Lookman marked his first English Premier League start since 2018-19 with his first top-flight goal in three years as Fulham put their first points on the board at the weekend, while Victor Osimhen took a stand for Nigerians back home during a sublime display in Napoli's 4-1 victory over Atalanta.

Lookman has, at times in the past two seasons, appeared destined never to fulfil the promise he once displayed as a youngster.

During the first half of 2018, while on loan at RB Leipzig, the Nigerian had a hand in eight goals in 11 German Bundesliga outings, announcing himself as one of the most exciting young talents in the European game.

The years since have been fallow, however, as he failed to net in 21 Premier League appearances at Everton under Marco Silva, and wholly failed to ignite last term after being signed permanently by Leipzig.

Zero goals or assists in 300 minutes of Bundesliga action -- across 11 appearances -- was all the club got for a hefty investment of £22.5 million.

On loan at Fulham this season, and making his first start against Sheffield United on Sunday, Lookman served a reminder of his class, and at least offered a glimpse of why Leipzig were willing to part with such a significant sum to sign him permanently.

Picking the ball up inside a left-hand channel 13 minutes from fulltime, the wideman feinted to cut inside, lost his man with a change of direction -- at one moment almost appearing to allow the chance to run away from him -- then weaved through one defender and, advancing towards goal, slammed a left-footed effort into the roof of the net.

The goal was his first in the Premier League since Jan. 2017 -- when he netted in Everton's 4-0 rout of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City -- and it served as a reminder that his talent is undimmed even though his career has lost momentum.

While it was a goal worthy of all three points, Fulham didn't hold on to the win, although their point earned at Bramall Lane should offer some hope that they can beat the drop.

"I thought we should have got three points from the game, but it's done now, so onto the next one," Lookman told Fulham's website.

"We all believe we can do great things this season. Obviously we're a new group so we're still gelling together, but that will come."

Next up for Lookman and Fulham is a London derby against Crystal Palace, when Wilfried Zaha and co. travel to Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

Zaha ranks among the Premier League's in-form widemen, although Eagles boss Roy Hodgson wasn't too happy with his talisman's performance against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday despite a penalty goal.

"I always think that with a player of his ability, he has got more to offer," the ex-England manager said after the match. We have so much faith in his ability and always feel, with a bit of luck, there's more there to give.

"What I will be preaching to him for the rest of the season is that a player of [his] ability has got more to give, and it is not sufficient to just score a few more goals than last season.

"I want to see him create havoc in the opponents' defence, and he didn't really do that today."

It remains to be seen whether Zaha takes his manager's encouragement in the spirit in which it was were intended, and while he netted his fourth goal of the season against Brighton -- equalling last season's tally -- he did allow his frustration to boil over and was involved in several flashpoints during the 1-1 draw..

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's move to Bayern Munich was -- ostensibly -- one of the more baffling moves of the transfer window.

Choupo-Moting was deemed surplus to requirements at Paris Saint-Germain, having made only five Ligue 1 starts throughout the campaign, before he landed at Bayern, the club that defeated the Cameroon skipper and PSG in the UEFA Champions League final.

Perhaps there's sense in the move; after all, Choupo-Moting proved at Paris that he's content to sacrifice himself for the team, accepts a squad-rotation role, and boasts the versatility to play across the forward line.

At 6'3 (190 cm), he offers a presence to be a handful for defenders in the air and give Bayern a Plan B, while his intelligence, technical quality and experience make him a good fit for the Bavarians.

Perhaps they were also seduced by his dramatic late winner for PSG against Atalanta in the quarterfinals of last year's Champions League; proof that, at 31, he can still decide matches at the highest level.

Certainly, it's not been a bad turnaround for a player who was relegated from the Premier League with Stoke City two years ago.

Now back in Germany, having previously thrived in the Bundesliga with the likes of Schalke 04 and Mainz, Choupo-Moting marked his debut with a brace as Bayern defeated amateur side Duren 3-0 in the German Cup.

Admittedly, his goals may have come against a side who play in the fifth tier of the German game, but his interplay with Marc Roca and Douglas Costa will have pleased Hansi Flick, and the attacker should have had a hat-trick, only for the officials to rule out a legitimate goal.

High-profile international stars such as Marcus Rashford and Mesut Ozil have added their voices to the increasing number of Super Eagles players and fans who have taken to social media to protest against the activity of Nigeria's Special Anti-Robbery Squad over the past two weeks in light of ongoing protests in the West African country.

This weekend, the cause of Nigeria's youth was brought to the attention of a Serie A audience, as both Osimhen of Napoli and his compatriot Simeon Nwankwo of Crotone marked their goals by revealing shirts emblazoned with 'End Police Brutality In Nigeria'.

While their shows of solidarity helped to raise the cause of Nigerian youth to a broader audience, the players' achievements in the Italian Serie A must also be recognised following two outstanding displays.

For Crotone, newly promoted from Serie B, their 1-1 draw against reigning champions Juventus represented a remarkable result, and the Sharks will take great succour from how they neutralised the Cristiano Ronaldo-less Old Lady.

Nwankwo's 12th-minute penalty was his second goal in Serie A this season, following his consolation in the 4-1 defeat by Sassuolo, and it will fuel hope that he can transfer his goalscoring form in the second tier to the top flight.

All that had been missing from Osimhen's start to life at Napoli before the weekend was a goal, with the striker having had a transformative impact against Parma on debut and then registering an assist against Genoa in his two previous outings.

Against Atalanta, he was imperious, scoring Napoli's fourth during an explosive first half, while also creating two goalscoring opportunities for teammates.

Even considering the eye-watering transfer fee of €70 million the Partenopei paid Lille to secure his services, few could have expected he would take to life in Italy so quickly.