ALUKO EXCLUSIVE:  Life After Hull; Akpom, Odubajo Want Nigeria Chance

ALUKO EXCLUSIVE:  Life After Hull; Akpom, Odubajo Want Nigeria Chance


By James Agberebi:


Super Eagles forward Sone Aluko has disclosed that Hull City pair Moses Odubajo and Chuba Akpom are keen on playing for Nigeria at international level.

Both Odubajo and Akpom, who helped Hull City get promoted back to the English Premier League, have featured for England at junior level.

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But they are still eligible to play for Nigeria at senior level since they've not played for the English senior national team in any official game.

Speaking exclusively to Completesportsnigeria.com, Aluko however stated that a lot still needs to be put in place to convince both players to switch allegiance to Nigeria. 

"They (Odubajo and Akpom) always ask me what it's like to play for Nigeria, should they take the decision or still hold on?" Aluko told Completesportsnigeria.com in Lagos. "Aside from Moses and Chuba, even other Nigerians who grew up in England always ask me what's it like to play for Nigeria. So it's something they think about, but Nigeria should make it attractive for these players to want to come and play because the responsibility is on Nigeria. 

"For example, if these guys decide to play for the Super Eagles and they get invited, the next thing the coach gets fired, they may not get invited again and that could mean the end of their international career.

"So we need to put the structures in place where these guys would want to play for Nigeria because, like I said, they are seriously thinking about it but we still have to put things right to make it very attractive to them."

Aluko, who was released by Hull City, said he is already in talks with different clubs.

"I have spoken to clubs in the Premier League, the Championship, even abroad. But it has to be a club where I will be playing regularly not where I will always be on the substitutes bench. I am a footballer, I need to be playing, that is what I am paid to do," the forward who scored twice against South Africa in Uyo in 2014 added.

"I have not decided which club I will be playing for next season. It might not be the obvious choice of everybody but it will be the one that will be best for me.

"I didn't play as much as I wanted to play which is common in football. I have been with Hull for four seasons now and was the longest serving player there so from January I thought I needed a new challenge. We spoke about it and all agreed that it's time for me to move on. I have always had a good relationship with Steve Bruce but I am looking forward to the next step in my career."

Aluko went on to speak on his ambassadorial role with COD United.

"Honestly it's been smooth," he said. "One of the reasons I decided to work with COD is because we share the same beliefs. That made it easier for me to come here and put on something like this. Though there are always challenges in grassroots football but I am very fortunate that I have met people who share the same beliefs."

He also said he is looking forward to the second edition of COD United Ambassador Cup which kicks off on Wednesday.

"It's been exciting, I really enjoyed it last year. It was a very good start, I saw a lot of very good players last year. The COD boys won it last year which was positive for them. This is the second edition and it's going to be bigger and better. It's just another opportunity for the players to get exposure, play in front of the COD coaches and a club that might give them the opportunity to realise their dream."
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