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England U-21s Coach Fears More Players could Switch Allegiance To Nigeria

England U-21s Coach Fears More Players could Switch Allegiance To Nigeria


By David Meshioye:


England U-21s coach, Aidy Boothroyd, is virtually growing grey hairs over the possibility of their youngsters switching allegiance to Nigeria with the three time African champions on the brink of qualifying for Russia 2018 World Cup, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Nigeria will put the 2018 World Cup African qualifying Group B to bed if Super Eagles beat in Uyo on Saturday, and Boothroyd has alerted the English football authorities are that Nigeria could have a better advantage of talking the likes of Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke and Sheyi Ojo, Everton’s Ademola Lookman and Tottenham’s Josh Onomah into joining Alex Iwobi and Ola Aina in switching international allegiance.

Zenith Ziva

Boothroyd revealed to telegraph.co.uk that England is facing a stiff battle from Nigeria over the international future of her youngsters.

Nigeria FA chiefs approached Tammy Abraham in September but the Chelsea striker sounded non-committal saying he hadn’t made up his mind, while Everton ace Ademola Lookman was also a prime target until he came out clear that he was better off with England.

“Nigeria are trying to get as many players as they can and you can’t blame them because we’ve got some good players,” Boothroyd said.

“There was talk about Tammy, while Sheyi Ojo is another and they might still be trying [to make him represent Nigeria at senior level], you just don’t know. It’s a hard one because I can’t guarantee they are going to play because the group is so good.

“Tammy didn’t start the game before last and that’s just one of those things. Perhaps other countries might see that and try and get into him, promise him the world and get him in the first-team before you know it.

“But these are lads that have played for England and have an affinity with us and a relationship. There is a pathway and I can always pick the phone up and speak to them.”




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  • PapaFem 4 years ago

    You don’t develop them and just dump them. They will surely jump at the opportunity of first team as long as that first team plays in high-profile competitions like the World Cup and the Olympics. Patrick Owomoyela, Ikechi Anya, Sam Sidney, Onuoha, Gaby Agbonlahor, Stephano Okaka etc would have had crack at the FIFA if they had chosen the country of their parents. Like Mr. Aidy, I see more of these England-born stars playing for Nigeria. Troost Ekong, Victor Moses, Leon Balogun and Alex Iwobi have been great additions to the team. You don’t jettison a system that works for you.

  • @PapaFem, well talk. Many of these players will never play for England as the EPL players will always always make up the 3 lion’s lineup but some of these under-20-21 players are good enough to play for most other teams. It is like what most top clubs do. They will stockpile good players in their teams depriving them from the service of their rivals. At best they are loaned out and if they are doing well over there, they are recalled. Victor Moses and Courtois of Chelsea are good examples. More African countries should imitate Nigeria and invade these countries that are ‘wickeding’ our African children. They are there in England, Germany, Netherland, France, Belgium. The only problem is that these players still see themselves as having a chance to play for these countries. Can’t blame them as their mindset, orientation and psychological makeup is about where they were born. Only the smart ones think differently. Or only those who have people like jay-jay as uncle make it out of such society.

  • Hahahahahahaha this oyibo sef.he is afraid ehh u haven’t started being afraid until players who are 100 percent English will start to beg for super eagles Jersey . NFF thank you for your great work . people can now be afraid of nigeria that is a good news . Mr pinnick ride on we can trust u because u are not like those past NFF chairmen.

  • charles emeka okwu 4 years ago

    Lol! Like papafem said, it makes no sense developing these kids and not giving adequate chance to prove themselves with the 3 lions. Its only few myopic english born nigerians will deceive theirselves in beliving they have a chance of making it to the english senior men’s team. No doubt the chance may be there but very minimal. For example, tammy abraham have to battle the likes of kane,rashford,vardy,welbeck and even old war horse defoe to make it to russia 2018. Even if he turns out to score 30 goals the swans this season he will never take kane’s place in the starting 11. So if the kid is wise enough nigeria is gifting him a chance he will never get from england. The likes of nedum onuoha,ameobi,agbolahor,late ugo ehiogu were all regulars for the english age grade teams but never made it to the senior team, those who managed to play werw just used as training tools and featured in few friendly matches. The likes of onomah,abraham,ojo,ejaria,solanke etc should grab wake up from their slumber and grab the chance of playing at the fifa world cup rather than sticking with the english youth teams.

    • chritoph 4 years ago

      that is just the fact its makes no sense waiting on England when u have a far brighter chance of getting into the first team with Nigeria and also dont forget Nigeria is also a great footballing nation by all standard , Nigeria happen to be the third highest exporter of football talents in the world at least Victor Moses now has a nations cup winner medal with us and will also be going to the world cup with us if we qualify so theres so much to gain playing for Nigeria to him whom brain is giving , sense is expected they should use thier head to think .

  • charles emeka okwu 4 years ago

    My top five euro-nigerians needed to beef up the current super eagles are:

    tammy abraham centre forward 19yrs(swansea city on loan from chelsea)- one of the hottest talent in english football currently. This kid have the potentials to be a top marks man in no distant future. His performance for bristol city in the english championship where he scored over 20 goals caught the attention of every soccer loving english fan. If he pledges is allegiance to nigeria, he will dorn the number 9 jersey for many yeara to come.

    joshua onomah central midfielder/attacking midfielder 20yrs(aston villa on loan from spurs)
    onomah is highly regarded in his parent club tottenham hotspur. He is a dynamic midfielder who can play as cm,am or behind a striker. His performance for the victorious english u20 worldcup team few months ago reminded spurs management of his immerse talent and offered him a long contract to wade off interested clubs. He was shipped on loan to aston villa where he has been doing very well for the championship side. I tip him to be among the few players who has the quality to replace eagles skipper john obi mikel when he retires.

    felix ohis udokhai. Centre back/leftback(wolfsburg)
    Promising talent who moved to modest german team wolfsburg from 1860 munich. He is strong, blessed with good height and physique and good on the ball. He is versatile as well ie can play as a cb or lb. He is highly regarded in german football circle. Getting him him give the team more options in defence and with his young age he will be a main stay in the team for a long time

    Jordon torunarigha. Leftback/centre back(hertha berlin)
    He is the son of ex super eagles player ojokolo. He is highly rated in germany where he is dubbed the new jerome boateng. He is a leftback with good height and physique but plays as a center back as well. He has beeb approached by the nff but was ill adviced by his father whoni believe is having a grudge with the football association. Rumour has it the nff will reapproach him after the qualifiers and i believe the lure to feature in the fifa worldcup will attract him.

    dominic iorfa jnr. Centre back/rightback(ipswich on loan from wolves)
    a decent talent who will bring a lot of competition to the team if given a chance. He has been so good for high flying championship team ipswich. He has veen approached by the nff few years ago but his father who is an ex international iorfa snr held him back citing the kid was too young for the senior team but will accept a call up once he is 23. He is tall, very fast and a no nonsense defender. His presence in the team will show sign of a better future for nigerian football.

  • PapaFem 4 years ago

    Agbonlahor’s case was the most painful. This guy was on fire. Nigeria invited him for an U-20 match against Rwanda in 2006. He turned it down with the hope that he would get an invite to the Three Lions. He was actually called to the U-21 team against Germany, but when the competition started, he was dropped for missing a training camp in Spain. That’s when the guy should have run. He still kept a false hope. He later played 3 senior international matches ( 2 friendlies, 1 competitive) and that marks the end of his international career at the age of 25! Gaby would have been a phenomenon for Nigeria at 2010 World Cup but England would not just allow him. Nigeria should fetch as many Agbonlahors as possible using every possible means. If all England does is to end their career at U-21 level, there’s nothing wrong if we pick it from there.

    • charles emeka okwu 4 years ago

      Exactly. I read an interview from iwobi’s dad. He is advicing the likes of tammy and co to follow iwobi jnr,victor moses and aina’s step by pledging their allegiance to nigeria. He said though its difficult for this kids cus they have lived most of their lives abroad and have assimilated to the cuture of their birth place but its more ideal and a thing of pride to wear the colours of Nigeria if the chance comes. He said some of this kids are being brainwashed on how bad the african terrain which was the case when when the nff tried to woe his son but he took i upon himself to advice his kid right. He said he even have to follow his soon to the u23 training camp in abuja to see things for theirselves and during the training sections his soon made up his mind that here is where he belongs. He adviced parents of kids eligible to play for nigeria to make out time to come over and see things for theirselves rather than relying on what they hear. He said alex accepting to play for Nigeria made him a happy and proud dad. I hope others will emulate mr chuka iwobi.

  • Abubakar Haruna Yunusa 4 years ago

    That’s good idear to approach these talented futbalers, and now the hope is higher cos we qualified. There are so many kids of Nigerian origin aroun the world, with this some will play for the super eagles. Well done NFF

  • Omoudu Sylvanus Evans 4 years ago

    A cow does not know the value of its tail until it cut off, no matter what happen home is home the guy denied and betrayed Nigeria for England just because of his birth right which other will have and later sworn their allegiance to their countries, Mr pinnik met with him not for his personal interest but for the interest of Nigeria, Nigeria football governing body tolk their time and try their very best to make the boy see reasons while he should play for his country not just mocking NFF but mocking Nigeria and finally turned them down for no reason to me but a reason best no to him,i wish him all the best in his choice playing, but i put it to him that the day a boy disobey his elders that is the day the boy mark day of his disappointment his not better than any other players wearing the Nigeria supper eagles colour and a tree cannot make a forest, after living in England and play for England, he shall live, old and die in England, has he refuse playing for Nigeria now when he old and die there would his body refuse coming to Nigeria his home, his body will not denied Nigeria,he is a boy who just think of today and forget tomorrow, may God bless him and let everything always be @ his control.